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The Founder of Canterbury. 











The story of the foundation and early growth of 
Canterbury was first told to me, bit by bit, more than 
thirty years ago, some of it by men and women who had 
actually taken part in the founding of the settlement, 
and shaping its destiny, and some by late-comers, who 
had followed closely on the heels of the pioneers. 

There were many people then living who delighted 
in talking of their strenuous life in the pioneering days, 
" when all the world was young," and in telling of events 
which are now passing into silent history. 

Many of the stories I heard then are still vivid in 
my memory, little episodes illustrating the daily life of 
a community which had to do everything for itself 
survey, settle, stock and till the land, build its own roads, 
bridges and railways, form its own religious, educa- 
tional, political and social institutions, and construct its 
own local government. 

It is no wonder that coming from the valley of the 
Thames, where the results of centuries of civilisation had 
come to be accepted as the natural condition of nineteenth 
century existence, I found the contrast interesting and 

My wife and I were received with the kindly hospi- 
tality so typical of the time and country. Amongst 
our immediate neighbours at Upper Riccarton were 
many old settlers. Mr. C. C. (now Sir Charles) Bowen, 
his brother, the Rev. Croasdaile Bowen, Mr. Leonard 
Harper, Mr. T. W. Maude, Mr. H. P. Lance, and others. 
Amongst them, Sir Charles Bowen and his family were 
our nearest neighbours and kindest friends. Sir Charles 
had come to Canterbury in the "Charlotte Jane," in 
1850. He had been private secretary to Mr. Godley 




had sat in the Provincial Council, been Provincial Treas- 
urer, a member of the House of Representatives and 
a Cabinet Minister. Probably there was no man then 
living better qualified to tell the story of Canterbury. 
He told it to me, not in connected narrative, but in frag- 
.ments spread over many a fireside chat, and I was able 
to supplement it with other fragments obtained at other 
hospitable hearths. 

I have endeavoured, in the chapters which follow, 
to weave the fragments into a connected story ; to do so 
I have had to make a careful examination of existing 
records, and have been led much further afield than I 
originally contemplated. I found, for instance, that 
the story of the foundation of the city was too intimately 
associated with that of the province to be kept separate. 
Similarly I found that the story of the Church of Eng- 
land, its Bishop, its College and its Cathedral, was inter- 
woven with those of the city, especially in the early 
days. I have been tempted, here and there, to stray 
out of bounds and write of the West Coast Gold Fields, 
the find of Moa bones at G]enmark and at Waimate, 
the work of the Acclimatisation Society and other topics, 
but on the other hand I have found it unfortunately 
necessary to omit much good material, which does not 
touch on the main thread of the story. I would like 
to have referred to some of the philanthropic and helpful 
social organisations that have been established in Christ- 
church, to the work accomplished by the Presbyterian 
and Nonconformist Churches, and to some of the men 
who took an active part in social improvement, but I 
have found it impossible, in a single volume, to afford 
space for the purpose. 

It is difficult to adequately acknowledge the general 
and cordial assistance I have received, not only from 
old settlers, but also from many persons connected with 
the various institutions referred to in the narrative. I 
wish especially to tender my thanks to Mr. Johannes C, 


Andersen, formerly of the Christchurch Land Office, and 
now of the General Assembly Library, in Wellington, for 
most valuable information regarding many of the old 

I have only to add that what I have written is 
addressed mainly to the old settlers and their families ; I 
hope, too, that the story may incite others to take pride 
and interest in the history of their city, but my chief 
hope is that these pages may meet with the kindly 
approval of those who have helped to make Canterbury 
what it is. 


Park Terrace, 

Christchurch, N Z. 



It is a far cry from the ancient cathedral cities of the 
Old Land, hoary with years and traditions, to a busy 
colonial town, raised in little more than half a century, 
in the midst of a tussock-covered plain. Yet, as the 
years roll by, something, perchance, of the stately repose 
of Salisbury, or of Chichester, may attach itself to our 
Cathedral City of the South. The story of its beginning 
is a story of the high resolves and great achievements of 
earnest, religious men in the early Victorian age. They 
dreamed of a new settlement to be peopled by sons and 
daughters of the Church of England, a chosen band, to 
pioneer the cause of religion and education in the vast 
unoccupied territories of the Southern Seas. In imagina- 
tion, no doubt, they saw something of the future of these 
unpeopled lands, the teeming population to come, and the 
danger that in the struggle and turmoil of colonisation 
some of the better attributes of civilisation might be left 
behind. How far the dream of this little band of pil- 
grims was realised, how far their noble ambitions were 
fulfilled, we shall see as we proceed, but whether there 
has been success or failure, the glow of inspiration still 
remains, and beyond the plain, no longer a sea of tus- 
sock, we yet may see the snowy mountains in the 

The ambition of the dreamers was to plant a Church 
of England settlement in a new land; its leaders, the 
best the Church of England could send ; its rank and file 
selected members of that Church, and there were to be 


special endowments for religious and educational pur- 

The first reference to the proposed settlement is found 
in the annual report of the New Zealand Company, in 
1843, and there can be little question that the suggestion 
emanated from the fertile mind of Edward Gibbon Wake- 
field. For some years the idea lay dormant, but it was 
quickened in 1847 by the meeting at Great Malvern of 
Mr. Wakefield and John Robert Godley. Fate, destiny, 
Providence, call it what you will, was present at that 
meeting, but for which this story would never have been 
written. Mr. Godley left Great Malvern with a new 
ideal for his life's work. Gifted above most men, and 
fired by intense enthusiasm, he gave his best to the new 
cause. Personal magnetism, strong character, social 
influence and the gift of language, enabled him to gather 
round him a group of influential men, and the Canter- 
bury Association was formed. 

Captain Thomas was sent out to select the site for 
the new settlement. The Association was singularly 
fortunate in its choice of this officer, for he proved both 
far-sighted in his selection and staunch in his opinions. 
The selection itself has been justified by the test of more 
than sixty-five years of experience and expansion, and it 
is now interesting to recall that Captain Thomas adhered 
to his choice in the face of the powerful influence exer- 
cised by Governor Sir George Grey in favour of an inland 
site in the Wairarapa. 

Then came the sailing of the pilgrims, a story of 
strength and purpose, of effort and achievement, in- 
tensely interesting, but difficult for us who, "like Ariel, 
post o'er land and sea with careless parting," to fully 
understand and appreciate. Giant steamers, cables, 
wireless telegraphy, railways, motor-cars, and air craft 
obstruct our view. We are as far removed from the 
Port Cooper of 1850 as was the England of that day from 
the period of good Queen Bess and Sir Walter Raleigh. 


The pilgrims who set sail in September, 1850, in 
ships of 700 to 800 tons needed stout hearts. They were 
to make their home in a distant country, of which little 
was known, and the horror of the Wairau massacre and 
similar tragedies must have been fresh in their minds. 
Undismayed by the perils and hardships that beset 
their path, they set out in high hope to subdue the 
wilderness and to realise their dream, taught by the 
successes and warned by the failure of earlier pioneers 
in other lands. Their destiny was in their own hands; 
they were still to remain under the old flag, but were 
to have self-government, and with it the priceless boons 
of greater individual freedom and wider opportunity that 
were possible in the overcrowded countries of Europe. 

Apart altogether from its religious aspect, the central 
idea of the new settlement naturally attracted courageous, 
self-reliant, and thoughtful men. Thence it is, that, 
although Christchurch is no longer exclusively a Church 
of England city, its people of all denominations are proud 
of its history, and still do honour to those sturdy pil- 
grims who made its first chapters and did much to mould 
its later ones. 


CHAPTER I.-1839-1844 ... ... 1 

The New Zealand Land Company, founded by Edward Gibbon 
Wakefield Selection of site for Nelson settlement 
New Zealand Company's proposal to found Scottish and 
Church of England colonies Mr. Tuckett's visit to Port 
Cooper (Lyttelton) Leaves from Dr. Monro's diary, giving 
reasons for rejection of Port Cooper as the site for 
Scottish settlement. 


John Robert Godley : his appointment as leader The 
Canterbury Association Formed: its plan of settlement 
Funds raised by personal guarantee Captain Thomas 
sent out to select site Port Cooper chosen, and why. 



Choice of site for Capital Origin of names of Christchurch 
and Avon Mr. Edward Jollie's survey work Planning 
Christchurch Naming the streets Canterbury Associa- 
tion's Charter Arrival of Mr. Godley, and his first 
impressions Work stopped for want of funds Difficulties 
in London Small area of land only applied for 
Surrender of its Charter by New Zealand Company- 
Society of Canterbury Colonists- " Canterbury Papers" 


Arrival of " First Four Ships "Welcomed by Governor Grey 
and by Mr. Godley Meeting of Society of Land Pur- 
chasersChoice of site for Capital Bishop Selwyn The 
" Lyttelton Times "Dr. Jackson, the Bishop-Designate 
Allotment of lands and choice of sections St. Michael's 
Church Squatting Regulations. 

CHAPTER V.-1851-1852 ... ... 57 

Demand for Local Government Friction between Mr. Godley 
and the London Council of the Canterbury Association 
Australian Gold Diggings, and their effect on Canterbury 
Survey of first year's work of colonisation Society of 
Canterbury Colonists Visit of Governor Grey Land Sales 
Constitution Bill, including provision for Provincial 
Council Criticism of the Canterbury Association- 
Resignation of Mr. Godley, and his departure for England 
and death 


CHAPTER VI 1855-1854 ... 74 

Arrival of Mr. H. Sewell, Agent of Canterbury Association- 
Boundaries of Canterbury denned Land Regulations 
Wakefield's sufficient price theory Election of Superin- 
tendent, of Members of Parliament and of Provincial 
Council Opening Sessions of Provincial Council 
Opening of first New Zealand Parliament. 


CHAPTER IX 1855-1856 102 

Election of new Provincial Council The Canterbury Associa- 
tion ordinance Sale of Town Reserves Arrival of 
Governor Gore Brown Bishop Harper: his appointment, 
arrival and installation. 

CHAPTER X 1857 ... ... Ill 

Christ's College The Sumner Road Departure of Mr. J. E. 



Election of Superintendent Moorhouse" The Amended Re-. 
gulations " Public Hospital Canterbury Chamber of 
Commerce Return of Mr. FitzGerald from England, and 
publication of the " Press " Lyttelton Tunnel Mr. Julius 
Haast (afterwards Sir Julius) Mr. Edward Dobson 
Christchurch Municipal Council Artesian water supply- 
Resignation of Mr. Moorhouse. 

CHAPTER XII. ... ... 135 

The Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and 
the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. 


The West Coast Gold Fields Opening of first Railway and 
first Telegraph Line in Canterbury the Main South Rail- 
way, and other public works. 


(Founded 1864. Completed 1904). 

CHAPTER XV 1864-1870 155 

Election of Mr. Moorhouse as Superintendent The Waimak- 
ariri Visits of Sir George Grey and of Lord Lyttelton 
Resignation of Mr. Moorhouse Election of Mr. William 
Rolleston Visit of H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh. 

CHAPTER XVI. 1870-1876 163 

The Museum The Southern Railway The New Zealand 
Shipping Co. Canterbury College. 


CHAPTER XVII. ... ... 174 

Abolition of Provinces The four Superintendents. 



After the abolition of provinces Retrospect The freezing 
process, and its effect on Canterbury- -The West Coast 

CHAPTER XIX. ... ... 195 

Resignation of Bishop Harper Appointment and consecration 
of Bishop Julius The Boer War Death of Queen Victoria 
Proclamation of King Edward VII. The Jubilee of 
Canterbury Antarctica. 

CHAPTER XX. ... ... 203 

The water powers of Canterbury The visit of T.R.H. the Duke 
and Duchess of York Electric Tramways Greater Christ- 
church High-pressure water supply. 

CHAPTER XXI. ... ... ... ... 215 

The Roman Catholic Cathedral Constitution of diocese Ap- 
pointment of Bishop Grimes: his work and death The 
New Zealand International Exhibition Death of Sir 
John Hall. 



APPENDIX ... 236 






Page 31. LYTTELTON IN 1850. 










Page 120. ON THE BANKS OF THE AVON. 1916. 


Page 130. OHEISTCHUROH CLUB, 1862. 

Page 130. OXFORD TERRACE, ABOUT 1862. 












CHURCH, 1906. 


Page 226. CHRISTCHURCH CLUB, 1916. 



Page 230. ROLLESTON AVENUE, 1916. 

Page 230. IN THE DOMAIN GARDENS, 1916. 



The New Zealand Land Company, founded by Edward 
Gibbon Wakefield Selection of site for Nelson 
settlement New Zealand Company's proposal to 
found Scottish and Church of England colonies 
Mr. Tuckett's visit to Port Cooper (Lyttelton) 
Leaves from Dr. Monro's diary, giving reasons for 
rejection of Port Cooper as the site for Scottish 

EVERY story must have a beginning, and, so far as 
the present volume is concerned, the natural point of 
departure would seem to be the incorporation in 1839 of 
the New Zealand Land Company. In the early part of 
the nineteenth century and even prior to that time, the 
whaling industry had been established in New Zealand, 
and settlements formed along the coast in connection 
with that industry. Some of these settlements were 
situated on the shores of Banks Peninsula. 

Port Cooper, as Lyttelton Avas then called, and the 
Port Cooper Plains, were named after the senior partner 
of the Sydney firm, Messrs. Cooper and Levy, who had a 
whaling plant on the New Zealand coast, and traded with 
the Maoris. 

The records show that at the opening of the last 
century the South Island of New Zealand carried a 
considerable native population. It was between the years 


of 1820 and 1840 that Canterbury in particular became 
almost depopulated. Up till that time, it is true, there 
had been constant warfare amongst the native tribes, but 
it was the use of firearms supplied by European whalers 
and traders which enabled Te Rauparaha, in successive 
raids, almost to exterminate the Ngaitahu of Kaiapoi, 
and other Southern tribes. The absence of native dif- 
ficulties, brought about in this deplorable way, has had 
an important bearing on the history of the city and 
province, for not only has Canterbury been spared the 
native wars which figure so largely in early North Island 
history, but it has also been practically free from the 
troubles incidental to native land titles, with all their 
intricacies and complications. 

The first systematic colonisation of New Zealand was 
undertaken by the New Zealand Land Company, as it 
was at first called when incorporated in 1839. (It 
was afterwards known as the New Zealand Company.) 
The foundation of this institution was mainly due to 
the efforts of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who previously 
had been associated with the formation of a similar 
undertaking in South Australia. Mr. Wakefield was 
the author of "The Art of Colonisation," and was one 
of the first Englishmen to realise the possibilities of a 
vast colonial Empire, safeguarded by Great Britain's 
command of the sea. 

The object of the New Zealand Company was to 
acquire land from the Maoris, and establish colonies with 
British settlers, and one of the first effects of its appear- 
ance was to spur the British Government into action. In 
June, 1839, Letters Patent were issued authorising the 
Governor of New South Wales to include within the limits 
of that colony any territory which might be acquired in 
sovereignty by Her Majesty the Queen in New Zealand. 
In the previous month Colonel William Wakefield, the 
Company's Agent, sailed in the " Tory " for Port Nichol- 
son (Wellington) to found the first settlement. 


On July 13, 1839, Captain William Hobson, R.N., 
was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, and 
arrived in the colony on January 29, 1840. A few days 
later (February 5, 1840) the Treaty of Waitangi was 
signed. Thus the formation of the New Zealand Com- 
pany had an important bearing on the history of New 

Two years after the incorporation of the New Zealand 
Company, its agent, Colonel Wakefield, was looking for 
a site for the future Nelson Settlement. He had heard 
of a good harbour and extensive plains at Port Cooper, 
and in July, 1841, he sent Captain Danniell and Mr. 
George Duppa in a small schooner to inspect and report. 
Their report was completely favourable, and Colonel 
Wakefield was greatly disappointed when Lieutenant- 
Governor Hobson put his veto on the choice, and 
ultimately insisted on the selection of Blind Bay for 
the Nelson Settlement, which was, in consequence, 
known for some years as " Hobson's Choice." 

Captain Danniell and Mr. Duppa were accompanied 
on this visit by Mr. William Deans, who then for the 
first time saw the Canterbury Plains, and was so favour- 
ably impressed that he shortly afterwards returned to 
settle on them. 

The following year (November, 1842), Captain Smith, 
the New Zealand Company's chief surveyor, visited Port 
Cooper, and entirely confirmed the favourable report of 
his predecessors. 

But to follow the thread of the story of Christchurch 
we must pass on to the annual report of the New Zealand 
Company, dated August 21, 1843, in which reference was 
made to two proposed settlements. The first was a 
Scottish project described as " the New Edinburgh 
Colony," and resulted in the foundation of the city of 
Dunedin. The report continued: "It is proposed 
that the plan of the other colony shall contain a scheme 
of large endowments for religious and educational pur- 


poses in connection with the Church of England. As 
it is intended that this colony should be on a larger scale 
than any hitherto adopted by the Company, the plan of 
it will probably not be ripe for publication till next year." 
Instructions, it was added, had been sent to the Company's 
agents in New Zealand to lose no time in selecting the 
sites of both settlements. It was intended that the New 
Edinburgh Settlement should be first established, and 
for the second time Colonel Wakefield's thoughts turned 
to the Port Cooper Plains as a possible site. The 
selection was entrusted to Mr. Frederick Tuckett, a 
surveyor, and one of the survivors of the Wairau Massacre. 
Mr. Tuckett had the advantage of considerable experience 
as chief surveyor in laying out the Nelson Settlement. 
He was a member of the "Society of Friends," and a 
man of great personality and force of character. The 
instructions given him were to examine not only Port 
Cooper, but also the remainder of the eastern coast of the 
South Island, and in the end, he passed over the Port 
Cooper site in favour of the present site of Dunedin. The 
objection to Port Cooper as a site for the Nelson Settle- 
ment had been simply due to the obstinacy of Lieutenant- 
Governor Hobson, but it is more difficult to understand 
the failure of an experienced surveyor, such as Mr. 
Tuckett undoubtedly was, to grasp the possibilities which 
have since been realised in the Canterbury Plains. 

Mr. Tuckett was accompanied in that expedition by 
Dr. (afterwards Sir David) Monro, who kept a diary 
which is now of double interest, first as affording an in- 
sight into the reasons for which the Port Cooper site 
was rejected, and, secondly, as presenting, perhaps, the 
earliest and most graphic description of the Canterbury 
Plains . 

Dr. Monro sailed from Nelson in the "Deborah," 
Captain Wing, on Sunday, March 31, 1844, and called 
in next day at Port Nicholson to take Mr. Tuckett on 
board. The diary records: " Pt. Nicholson weather, 


heavy gusts of wiiul, with dark squally sky and rain " 
evidently "windy Wellington" had already established 
its reputation. The vessel arrived ut Port Cooper on 
April 5, and the party landed in the whale-boat. The 
diary continues: "When we returned about sunset, 
we found some of the greatest chiefs of the Southern 
Island on board, viz., Taiaroa, Tuaweiki, or Bloody 
Jack, and others. Taiaroa's complexion is light for a 
native. . He was dressed in a blanket, and had nothing 
European about him but a pair of shoes. Tuaweiki, on 
the contrary, is the most Europeanized native I have met 
with. His costume was entirely European, and perfect, 
even down to the handkerchief with which lie blew his 
nose, his outward and investing garment being an 
excellent coach-box-looking drab great-coat, into the 
pockets of which he stuck his hands in most knowing 
fashion. Immediately after coming on board, he 
pulled out his watch and asked us what time we made 
it, and all his movements and gestures seemed in studied 
and successful imitation of the pakeha. Nor is his 
knowledge of our customs merely superficial ; he under- 
stands cash transactions, and bank business to a certain 
extent, and would on no account be satisfied with 
payment in a bill unless it were well backed. On man)' 
other subjects he surprised us by the extent of his know- 
ledge and the shrewdness, sometimes cunning, of his 
remarks. The natives knew perfectly well the business 
upon which we were come, and seemed anxious to enter 
upon the subject of land and its value, but we avoided 
this as much as possible. On the geography of the 
Island we got much information from Tuaweiki, and it 
was particularly valuable from his knowing distances in 
English miles, and understanding also time as divided 
into hours and minutes. The charts whicli were sub- 
mitted to him he criticised with much severity, pointing 
out their great inaccuracy. He always inquired who 
was the author of such and such a chart, and on 


being informed, unhesitatingly pronounced in much more 
forcible than polite language, that he must be a ' 

" April 6th Got ready this morning for an excursion 
into the country. Messrs. Tuckett and Davidson" (a 
surveyor) "started in a whale-boat for the head of the 
harbour, from which point they are to make their way 
by a line said to be practicable for a road to Mr. Deans' 
station on the great plain. Messrs. Barnicoat " (another 
surveyor, and afterwards a member of the Legislative 
Council), "Wither and myself went ashore on the W. 
side of the harbour, in a little bay in which there is a 
miserable pah, called Rapuki, to reach the plain by 
crossing in a direct line the ridge which lies between it 
and the harbour. We followed up the narrow valley 
at the mouth of which is the pah, for some distance, 
passing through a very pretty bush which runs up nearly 
to the top of the range, fringing the watercourse. After 
leaving this bush, we had a very steep ascent to encounter, 
and soon reached the summit of the ridge, at an elevation, 
I should imagine, of about 800ft., from which we looked 
immediately down upon the waters of Port Cooper, and 
over the broken and rugged country to the east of it. 
But looking westward, we had a magnificent view an 
immense plain, apparently a dead level, stretched away 
below our feet, extending in a direct line to the westward 
at least thirty miles, and to the southward as far as the 
eye could reach, backed by a far remote chain of grand 
snowy summits. The colour of the plain was of a 
brownish yellow, indicating its being covered with dried 
up grass, and several rivers, with tortuous folds, marked 
themselves upon its surface by the glitter of their waters. 
On this immense sea of plain, there appeared to be hardly 
any timber one or two dense isolated groves of gloomy 
pines were all that we could see, and at one of these, our 
guide informed us, was Mr. Deans' station. To the 
southward our view was not complete. The ridge next 

s a 

3 3 



C - 

DR. MONRO'S DIARY. 1844. 7 

to the one on which we stood came in the way in this 
direction and prevented our seeing the Ninety-mile Beach, 
ns the coast south of the Peninsula is named, and the 
large fresh water lake termed the Waihola, which is only 
separated from the sea by a narrow bank of shingle. 
After lingering some time on the summit enjoying the 
prospect, which to an eye accustomed to wander over 
the endless ridges and broken surface of the greater 
part of New Zealand, was certainly most refreshing, we 
descended towards the plain. The slopes on this side 
are gentle and beautifully grassed, and afford, besides, 
an abundance of anise. The surface is composed of a 
dry, crumbling basalt, so that both the feed and the 
nature of the ground are admirably adapted for the 
depasturing of sheep. From the foot of the hills it is 
about five miles to Mr. Deans' station. Close to the 
base of them is a canal-looking stream which winds 
very much. This is what Messrs. Duppa and Danniell 
named the 'Serpentine,' the native name is 'Opawaha.' 
For a distance of about two and a half miles back from 
the sea it may be navigable for good large boats, but 
beyond that it is shallow. Where we crossed it, it was 
about knee deep and rapidly diminishing in size. Having 
the same outlet to the sea is another similar, but smaller 
stream, named the Otakaro, upon the banks of which 
Mr. Deans has located himself. Both these streams are said 
to have their source in springs, and are unaffected beyond 
a few inches either by the drought of summer or the 
heaviest rains of winter. In dimensions and navigable 
capabilities they have been certainly much over-rated, 
both by the gentlemen above mentioned, and by Captain 
Smith, who has since then given a description of Port 
Cooper. The part of the plain which we crossed in 
walking to Mr. Deans' is uniformly covered with grass of 
various sorts, with hardly any fern, flax or toi-toi in the 
moister parts, and dotted over with ti-tree. Though 
apparently a dead level as seen from the top of the hills, 


it has an evident, but very gentle slope towards the sea, 
and its surface is quite unbroken, save by one or two 
small patches of sandhills, which appear to indicate that 
the sea at one time had occupied a higher level than at 
present. . . "About four in the afternoon we reached 
Mr. Deans', and were most hospitably received and enter- 
tained by that gentleman and his brother, whom we 
found living in a most comfortable verandah house, with 
large and substantial out-buildings, and surrounded with 
abundance of comforts and necessaries, as well as many of 
the luxuries of life. 

"April 7th Messrs. Tuckett and Davidson arrived 
this morning after breakfast, having passed a miserable 
night on the plain without firewood or shelter." 

The travellers had, in fact, been most unfortunate in 
their choice of a route to the Messrs. Deans brothers' 
homestead. Starting, as has been seen, from the head of 
the Bay, they probably descended to the plains by 
Gebbie's Valley. The country was flooded at the time, 
and they found themselves entangled in a network of 
creeks, with which the swamp at the foot of the hills was 
intersected. In attempting to cross one of them, Mr. 
Tuckett made use of a Maori raft made of mokihi. The 
native method of propulsion was to sit astraddle and propel 
the frail craft with bare feet, but Mr. Tuckett' s more 
civilised methods ended in disaster, and the two prospec- 
tors spent a damp and uncomfortable night in the swamp, 
and did not reach the Deans' hospitable homestead till 
the following day. Probably their misadventure had 
something to do with prejudicing Mr. Tuckett against 
the Port Cooper Plains. 

Dr. Monro's diary presents a pleasant picture of the 
Deans' settlement. About six acres were then under crop, 
and "they have sixty head of cattle, and about thirty 
sheep, besides horses. The cattle are in very good 
condition, the sheep moderately so, but they are confined 
within a limited space, in consequence of the number of 


Maori dogs running about in a wild state." Dr. Monro 
also tells how he and Mr. Deans, Junr., dropped down 
the stream in a canoe to a lagoon near the sea, the haunt 
of "an immense number of water birds," and did some 

On April 11, Mr. Tuckett proceeded in the "Deborah" 
on his voyage southwards, which resulted in the selection 
of the present site of Dunedin as the capital of the 
Scottish Settlement. 

Dr. Monro's summary of the advantages and dis- 
advantages of Port Cooper as a site for settlement ran 
as follows : 

"In the first place as regards the harbour, much cannot 
be said in favour of Port Cooper. It is, in fact, more a 
deep bay than a harbour, and when the wind blows from 
the northward, a heavy swell sets in, as we experienced 
while lying there. One or two little nooks are well 
sheltered; the principal of these is the bay in which Mr. 
Greenwood is settled" (Purau). "For small vessels this 
Avill be found a perfectly land-locked harbour, but the 
water is shallow between three and four fathoms. At 
the upper end of Port Cooper the water is very shallow, 
leaving, at low water, an extensive mudflat. There is 
no convenient site for a town. Mr. Greenwood's bay 
offers 200 or 300 acres, which might be built upon, but it 
would be a work of much difficulty and expense to 
connect this by means of a road with the agricultural 
district. At the head of the harbour, there is ample room 
for a town, but vessels could not approach within at 
least two miles. Besides these places, the shores of 
Port Cooper are either steep banks or rocky cliffs, and 
to carry a road along its W. side in the manner suggested 
by Messrs. Duppa and Danniell, appears to me a work 
that might be executed by a Napoleon or a King of 
Egypt, but hardly by the New Zealand Company. The 
productive resources of the district I regard as very 
considerable. The soil of the Peninsula has every 


appearance of being fertile, although the unevenness of 
its surface would allow of only a small proportion being 
tilled, but all of it, excepting the bush land, which is not 
in large proportion, will afford good pasture. That the 
great plain which stretches from the Peninsula southward 
will be valuable, fertile and productive, there can be 
little doubt. How it might answer for pure agriculture 
immediately is perhaps doubtful, but in its present state 
it affords an immense field for grazing stock and the 
production at all events of one export, viz., wool, and 
that when enriched by the animals which consumed its 
grasses, returning them in the shape of manure and 
stimulating the soil, it would yield abundant crops, may 
be said to be equally certain. The great drawback to 
the plain is the want of good wood upon it, and according 
to the scheme of the New Edinburgh Settlement, this 
becomes an almost fatal objection. A large capitalist 
and land-holder might obtain wood from the valleys of 
the Peninsula, and by operations on large scale com- 
pensate for the expense thus incurred, but the small 
capitalist upon his ten-acre or fifty-acre section would find 
his time and his means both frittered away in procuring 
so absolute a necessity, which, whether brought to him 
by land or water, could not fail to be an article of 
considerable expense. The climate of the plain behind 
the Peninsula, from what we heard of it, is steady, and 
on the whole fine, but large low and level plains are 
always subject to greater extremes of temperature than 
country of an uneven surface. I apprehend that the 
defects of climate of which we complain on the Waimea 
will be found in an exaggerated degree on Port Cooper." 
For some years the energy of the New Zealand 
Company was directed to the establishment of the New 
Edinburgh or Scottish Settlement, and it was not till 
the year 1847 that the proposal to form the Church of 
England Settlement began to take concrete form. It 
may be left to the next chapter to tell how this came 



"Waste lay the land, untamed and rude; 
O'er tussocked plain a reedy brook 
Seaward its course, slow winding, took 
Unmurmuring, in slumbrous mood. 
Save when the North wind's fever'd breath 
Rustled the raupo, still as death 
The sad fens brooded, and the land 
Awaited yet the Pilgrim Band 
A bounty-wasted solitude." 



John Robert Godley: his appointment as leader The 
Canterbury Association Formed : its plan of settle- 
ment Funds raised by personal guarantee Captain 
Thomas sent out to select site Port Cooper chosen, 
and why. 

The time had now come for the realisation of the 
second proposal outlined in the Company's report of 
1843, the establishment of a Church of England Settle- 
ment. Although the idea of this settlement had 
emanated from the brain of Mr. Wakefield, it took de- 
finite shape as the result of the labours and energy of 
John Robert Godley, who is rightly regarded as the 
founder of Canterbury. Mr. Godley was the eldest son 
of Mr. John Godley, Killegar, Co. Leitrim, and was 


born in 1814. If lie had been specially destined for the 
leadership of the Canterbury settlement it would have 
been difficult to find for him a better preparation than 
that which he actually underwent. The son of an 
Irish landed proprietor, he must have had early oppor- 
tunities of gaining knowledge of land and its employ- 
ment. After receiving a liberal education at Harrow 
and Christ Church (Oxford), he read for the Irish Bar, 
and was called in 1839. Three years later, he visited 
Canada, and became extremely interested in colonial 
matters, contributing articles to various papers, from 
which it would be interesting to quote if space permitted. 
From his letters to C. B. Adderley, printed by Savill 
Edwards, London, 1863, can be traced the course of 
events by which his subsequent career was inspired. 
These letters cover the period of his life's work between 
1839 and 1861, and are written quite unreservedly, with 
evidently no thought of their publication. They are 
the letters of one intimate friend to another, frank and 
outspoken at times to a singular degree. They give a 
lurid picture of Ireland in 1843, with famine threatened, 
anarchy rampant, and Godley and his father under pro- 
tection against assassination. By 1846 matters were 
even worse, and practically the whole labouring popula- 
tion was employed on relief works. Next year, Mr. 
Godley stood for Parliament for his native county, 
Leitrim, and was defeated. Writing on September 24 
of that year (1847), he anticipated frightful mortality 
amongst the poor, and the disorganisation of society in 
the attempt to collect rates. This letter contains a 
passage which shows whither his thoughts were 
already trending. "A gigantic immigration scheme," 
we read, "would have been the only alternative." It 
was at this time that his meeting with Edward Gibbon 
Wakefield took place. 

The New Zealand Company was then in a bad way, 
fast drifting indeed towards insolvency. Mr. Wake- 


field had now fully accepted the idea of invoking the 
aid of the churches in promoting settlement. The new 
Edinburgh Settlement was already in train, but he 
needed a leader for the proposed Church of England 
Settlement. The difficulty and delicacy involved in the 
choice is shown by Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield's 
letters, published under the title of " The Founders of 
Canterbury," by his son, Mr. Edward Jerningham Wake- 
field. The assistance of the evangelical section of the 
Church of England could not be obtained because of the 
jealousy between the New Zealand Company and the 
Church Missionary Society, which were both practically 
colonising institutions. On the other hand, the danger 
of extreme Puseyism had to be avoided. Mr. Wake- 
field's choice fell on Mr. Godley, as a sound Churchman, 
not leaning to either extreme. In a letter dated Great 
Malvern, November 27, 1847, he wrote : 
"My Dear Godley, 

"I hope you have not changed your mind about coming 
here, as I have a suggestion to make for your considera- 
tion, relating to yourself and a very pleasant colonising 
object, which I fancy you are likely to embrace. If 
you do come, do not let us be cut short for time. 
"Yours very truly, 


Mr. Godley did come. The meeting took place, and the 
results are recorded in Mr. Wakefield's letter of Novem- 
ber 30, 1847, to Mr. John Abel Smith, M.P. This letter 
is of peculiar interest, as in it is set down clearly, and 
with much detail, the scheme of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion as afterwards carried out : 

"I find that my notion of a distinct settlement in 
New Zealand under the patronage of a powerful body 
in this country, desirous of spreading the Church of 
England, stands a good chance of being realised sooner 
than we expected. The subject has been fully con- 
sidered, and at length something like practical conolu- 


sions have been arrived at. Mr. Godley left me this 
morning for Ireland, and I have undertaken to ascertain 
how far the Company is disposed to act in the matter. 

" We adhere to the old plan of settlement, to consist 
of 300,000 acres (with right of pasturage attached), to 
be purchased from the Company for 10/- per acre, or 
150,000. The place is to be, if possible, Ruamahunga, 
near Wellington, which is delineated in the illustrations 
of my son's book. The purchasers, whether colonists 
or absentees, to pay to the Company as a trustee for 
them, 2 10s. per acre, in addition to the price of 10/-, and 
the amount, being in all 750,000, to be laid out by the 
Company on behalf of the purchasers in public objects, 
such as emigration, roads, and church and school endow- 
ments. The plan of the colony with respect to such 
objects to be framed and (except in so far as the Company 
would act as a trustee) be carried out by a society outside 
of the Company, consisting of bishops and clergymen, 
peers, members of Parliament and intending colonists 
of the higher class. 

"In all this there is nothing new to many of the 
Directors. But now comes the all-important practical 
question : By whose exertion in particular is the whole 
scheme to be realised? " 

The rest of the letter supplied the answer, and warmly 
recommended that the carrying out of the plan should be 
entrusted to Mr. Godley. 

Mr. Godley's letters to Mr. Adderley, about this time, 
constantly refer to colonisation, and on December 7, 
1847 (doubtless the result of his meeting with Wake- 
field), he wrote: "I have a grand colonisation scheme 
in petto, which is too complicated to be explained in a 
letter, but which, I feel sure, will enlist your sympathy 
and co-operation." A few days later (December 15), he 
said: "Did I tell you that the New Zealand Company 
are flirting with me to get me into their direction, so as 
to work the labouring oar in the business of colonisation 


there ? If I take up this affair, I have a scheme for the 
formation of a Church of England colony. I bespeak 
you, as a member of the Committee which must carry 
out my plan. While writing to you there came a 
definite offer from the New Zealand Company, which I 
shall accept, so you will see me in full work there next 

Mr. Godley was as good as his word, and on January 
16, 1848, we find him in London, a director of the New 
Zealand Company (the former letters were written from 
Killegar), engaged in collecting a Committee of Manage- 
ment, in which he had already secured the co-operation 
of several gentlemen, whose names were afterwards 
well known in Canterbury. The following extract from 
a letter, written by Mr. T. C. Harrington, the Secretary 
of the New Zealand Company, dated New Zealand House, 
London, February 29, 1848, and addressed to the Com- 
pany's agent, Colonel William Wakefield, in Wellington, 
gives some idea of the enthusiasm with which Mr. Godley 
was already entering on his new work: "Mr. Godley, 
with whose exertions for the organisation of a systematic 
emigration from Ireland you are doubtless acquainted, 
has lately been elected a member of the Direction. 
Through the intervention chiefly of that gentleman, the 
Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishops of London and 
Exeter, Lord Harrowby, Lord Lincoln, and other gentle- 
men of great weight and influence, have been induced 
to take a lively interest in the undertaking." 

At the time this letter was written it was intended 
to locate the new settlement in the Wairarapa or Rua- 
mahunga district, and in enclosing a copy of it to Earl 
Grey, Mr. Harrington, in a covering letter, requested 
that Governor Grey should be induced to take steps to 
extinguish the native rights in these districts. 

In March. 1848 Cthe following month), the first 
document appeared, "The Plan of the Association 
for Forming the Settlement of Canterbury in New 


Zealand," published by J. W. Parker, West 
Strand, London. On the first page appeared 
the names of the members of the Association, 
His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury as Presi- 
dent, and fifty-two others, consisting of Bishops, 
Peers, Members of Parliament, Clergy, etc., of whom 
twenty were members of the General Committee, under 
the Chairmanship of the Right Hon. Lord Lyttelton. 
They were an eminently respectable and influential body, 
all staunch supporters of the Church of England, but 
not, perhaps, precisely fitted for the work of organis- 
ing and carrying out a large colonising scheme in the 
South Pacific. The pamphlet itself was a quaintly 
optimistic document, beginning with a selection of 
quotations from various writers, praising the fertility and 
climate of New Zealand, from which was deduced the 
rosy anticipation that "land thus treated" (cleared, 
cultivated and laid down in pasture) " instead of one 
sheep to four or five acres, which is the common power of 
unimproved natural pasture in Australia, will maintain 
about four sheep per acre throughout the year." Again, 
in the financial prospects, the hopeful tone was imparted ; 
it was estimated that there would be available from the 
land sales during the first year or two the sum of 
200,000 for the religious and educational endowment 
fund. The "Plan" even went so far as to dispose of 
this sum (prospectively) by spending 41,000 in churches 
and other buildings, and investing the balance, 159,000. 
as an endowment fund, from which to pay stipends. 

The investments even were specified the sum of 
80,000 was to be invested in British Funds at 3^ per 
cent., and 79,000 in "Colonial Securities," at 6 per 
cent., yielding a revenue of 7,540. It cannot, in 
fact, be denied that the "Plan" was open to a great 
deal of criticism, much of which it subsequently 
received. In justice, however, to the founders, certain 
facts have to be remembered. The scheme of the 


Association was unusual. It was a colonising project, 
but not for private gain ; in this it radically differed 
from its parent institution, the New Zealand Company. 
There were to be no shares, no dividends, and most 
surprising of all, no capital. The New Zealand Company 
had granted the Association an option of purchase of 
1,000,000 acres of land in New Zealand at 101- per acre. 
It was proposed to sell this land at six times its cost to 
selected emigrants, members of the Church of England, 
and of good character. But -and this was the crucial 
feature of the scheme the profit so made was not to go 
into any private pockets, but to be administered by the 
Association as trustees for the spiritual and temporal 
advancement of the settlement. The following are 
some of the details of the plan: 

The option over the million acres was for two years, 
but conditional on 300,000 worth of land being sold 
within six mouths, and of further annual sales at a fixed 
ratio being afterwards made. 

The Association was to sell rural lands at 3 per acre, 
and town and suburban lands at prices mentioned below. 

Of the money received from the land sales, one-sixth 
(in the case of rural land 10/- per acre) was to be paid 
to the New Zealand Company for the land ; another 
sixth was to be used for general expenses, which would 
include survey, reading, bridging and other colonial 
expenses, as well as the comparatively small London 
expenses. Two-sixths were to go to form an emigrant 
fund, to charter boats and take out labour to the new 
settlement ; and the remaining two-sixths were for 
religious and educational endowments in connection with 
the Church of England faith. 

A general survey was to be made, and 1,000 acres 
selected and reserved for the capital city, with not 
exceeding 1,000 acres of " suburban " land adjoining. 
The lines of the principal streets and squares of the 
capital city were to be marked out due reserves made 


for public purposes, and the balance of the city divided 
into quarter-acre sections. The suburban land was to be 
divided into ten-acre blocks. Prices were fixed, 
quarter-acre sections 25, of which one-sixth, or 4 3s. 
4d., was to be paid to the New Zealand Company; subur- 
ban ten-acre blocks at 150, the New Zealand Company 
again getting a sixth share. These prices applied to 
town and suburban land in the capital ; the prices in 
subordinate towns was lower. Rural land was to be 
sold to settlers at 3 per acre, and no order to be issued 
for less than fifty acres. All applications received 
within the first six months were to rank equally, after 
that priority was to be given in order of application. 

There were also some regulations giving exclusive 
rights of pasturage over unoccupied lands to "land 
purchasers," which, as will be seen, were the cause of 
some trouble later on, and the pamphlet concluded 
with a reprint of a very cordial correspondence between 
Lord Lyttelton and Earl Grey regarding the proposed 

In the meantime money was required in London 
for preliminary expenses, obtaining the charter (the 
Association was not yet incorporated), and other things, 
and in the colony for surveying the land and preparing 
for the arrival of the first settlers. This money could 
be obtained only from the New Zealand Company, and 
on the personal guarantee of individual members of the 
Association. By this method, in May, 1848, an advance 
of 25,000 was arranged, of which 5,000 was retained 
for preliminary expenses in London, and 20,000 sent 
out for starting the necessary work in New Zealand. 
No doubt, the influence of the members of the committee 
was of great value to the Association, both with the 
Home Government and with the New Zealand Company 
on the one hand, and with intending settlers on the 
other; but for the practical conduct of its business, the 
large and unweildy committee must have been a serious 


handicap, and, as a matter of fact, Mr. H. S. Selfe, in 
his pamphlet defending the Association from the in- 
evitable criticism, says that the attendance at committee 
meetings was scanty and irregular. The bulk of the 
work fell on a few, the Chairman (Lord Lyttelton), Mr. 
Henry Sewell, and later Mr. H. S. Selfe, all of whom 
were inspired by the enthusiasm of Mr. Godley. 

The attitude of the Home Government towards the 
new Association may be gathered from Earl Grey's 
despatch, No. 27, to Governor Grey, dated Downing 
Street, June 29, 1848. "From the character of those 
who have formed the Association, and from the advantage 
which their undertaking, if it prosper, might be expected 
to confer both upon New Zealand and this country, I 
take a great interest in the success of their enterprise. 
The Association has now adopted a course which seems 
to me perfectly prudent and reasonable, namely, that of 
despatching a confidential agent to ascertain what lands 
are available, and select a site for the projected settle- 
ment. Captain Thomas, who was acquainted with the 
colony before" (he had gone as a settler to Wellington 
in the "Adelaide " in 1840, and had done some surveying 
work for the Otago settlement) "has been chosen for 
that purpose." 

Earl Grey went on to bespeak from the authorities 
every assistance for the agent of the Association. En- 
closed in his despatch were copies of letters exchanged 
between Lord Lyttelton and Earl Grey, between the 
New Zealand Company and the Association. The des- 
patch and the correspondence are too lengthy to re- 
produce here, but there are some points in the corres- 
pondence which must be mentioned in order to preserve 
the continuity of the story. 

The suggestions that the Association should be 
granted a charter of incorporation, and that Canterbury 
should be constituted a separate province, subject to the 
approval of the Governor, were sympathetically received 


by Earl Grey, and subsequently given effect to. The 
correspondence also repeated the land proposals of the 
Association as already set out in its Plan for forming 
the Settlement of Canterbury. 

The financial questions were given considerable 
prominence, both as between the Government and the 
New Zealand Company, and as between the Company and 
the Association. The estimates for the Colonial 
expenditure had been prepared by Captain Thomas for the 
Association, and form somewhat curious reading by the 
light of after events. They made provision for in- 
struments, lithographic press and stationery, offices, 
salaries for one year of Chief Surveyor, two assistants, 
one geologist and botanist, storekeeper and clerk, wages 
of twelve labourers with rations, also survey expenses 
and road construction, the expenditure amounting in all 
to 15,000. In a subsequent letter, written by Mr. 
Godley as acting-secretary of the Association (May 
9, 1848), this expenditure was summarised as follows: 
Expenses of surveying department 7,120; for roads 
and bridges, 7,880. Mr. Godley added that the 
latter amount was "apparently rather an approximate 
conjecture of the minimum sum required for those 
purposes than from any detailed calculation." He 
proceeded to add "at least two churches" to the list of 
requirements, and increased the demand to 20,000. 

Captain Joseph Thomas played such an important 
and valuable part in the early history of Canterbury and 
Christen urch that it is perhaps as well to define the 
terms of his engagement. Mr. Harrington, Secretary 
of the New Zealand Company, in a letter to Earl Grey, 
dated June 30, 1848, wrote: 

' The gentleman above-named (Captain Thomas) was 
selected by the Association, and was originally intended 
to have been sent out as the agent of that body. But 
the members, being unwilling to incur the risk of 
individual pecuniary liability, have, with a view to 


preventing this, requested that he may be appointed the 
agent of the New Zealand Company for the intended 
settlement, till such time as the Association shall receive 
a charter of incorporation. With this request the 
Court has complied, and Captain Thomas proceeds 
accordingly to New Zealand to carry out the views of 
the Association, but in the capacity of the agent of the 

Captain Thomas sailed in July, 1848, for New Zealand 
to select in concert with the Governor and Bishop of New 
Zealand, a suitable site for the proposed settlement. From 
a letter dated Wellington, December 6, 1848, written by 
Governor Sir George Grey to Earl Grey, it appears that 
Captain Thomas was already disposed to favour Port 
Cooper as the most suitable site, while His Excellency 
considered that a very advantageous site might be 
obtained in the neighbourhood of the Rangitiki and 
Manawatu. In a subsequent despatch dated Auckland, 
February 9, 1849, the Wairarapa site was again men- 
tioned by His Excellency with approval. 

Captain Thomas's preference for Port Cooper was 
doubtless strengthened by a very valuable report made 
by Messrs. W. and J. Deans, of Eiccarton, on the 
suitability of the district for the purposes of settlement. 
A few months after the date of this report, on April 
9, 1849, Mr. William Fox, afterwards Sir William, 
acting principal agent for the New Zealand Company, 
reported to the Governor that, subject to the consent of 
His Excellency and the Bishop of New Zealand, Captain 
Thomas had selected Port Cooper (Lyttelton), and the 
adjacent country, for the settlement. The Governor's 
consent was given on May 14. In a letter written on 
June 22, to Mr. H. W. Durnand, of London, Mr. H. J. 
Cridland, surveyor and land agent at Wellington, gave 
some of the reasons that led to the selection : 

"There is every probability that the site of the 
Canterbury Settlement will be at Port Cooper. Captain 


Thomas's report only waits the approval of the Bishop 
and Governor of New Zealand, who seem rather disposed 
for the Wairarapa, for the surveys to be proceeded with 
immediately." (Mr. Cridland was evidently unaware 
that the approval had already been obtained.) " I think 
it will prove more satisfactory to have it there than in 
any other part of New Zealand I have seen or heard 
of, from a variety of causes that combine, in a peculiar 
manner, every essential for such an established under- 
taking. There are no natives to disturb their occupa- 
tion or interrupt their progress a single day. There 
is a splendid port, free from the slightest danger, per- 
fectly secure, easier of access and better adapted for 
commercial purposes than even Port Nicholson, on nearly 
its opposite shore of Cook's Straits. There is deep water 
in every part of the harbour, available for wharves, 
quays, etc., To crown all, there is an immense tract 
of level country available, well covered with grass, and 
watered with abundant, beautiful streams, embracing 
an area of forty miles wide, and three or four times as 
long, within six miles of the port, easy of access by 
several routes. The soil is equal in average with the 
Hutt as regards quality, free from inundation or danger, 
and ready for the plough. There may be considered an 
insufficiency of timber, which in New Zealand has been 
felt rather a drawback in the shape of expense and 
clearing. There will be no struggle here to conquer 
the dense forest, which has so often terminated in dis- 
appoantment, and which compels the labourer to wait 
years before he can obtain a sufficient return to remune- 
rate his incessant toil. The Putarikamut " (Puta- 
ringa motu, see Riccarton later) " or Serpentine River, 
runs through the entire district, is navigable for boats 
of eight tons to the end of the plains, and empties itself 
into the open sea at Port Rigamont, clear of any bar or 
shingle. The price of the land may appear high to 
purchasers, but in reality will be cheaper by one-half 

MR. H. J. CRIDLAND'S REPORT. 1849. 23 

than that near Port Nicholson. The landlord will be 
able to lease his land with the certainty that a moderately 
industrious tenant will be able from the first year to pay 
him rent. The tenant has at once the means at hand 
of forwarding his crops to the nearest market, and from 
Port Cooper to any part of the world. The plains are 
beautiful to look upon. The Deans Brothers purchased 
a farm at Otakao (0-Takaro?) near the Putarikamut, 
in 1843, from Dods and Davis. It is a little colony 
of itself." 

This letter, though somewhat too optimistic, is 
valuable as giving in a concise form the reasons which 
doubtless influenced Captain Thomas in his selection. 
In passing, it may be mentioned that Mr. Cridland was 
later engaged in the survey and laying out of the dis- 
trict, and several sketches made by him in 1850 are still 
extant. He died June 1, 1867, aged 44. 




Choice of site for Capital Origin of names of Christ- 
church and Avon Mr. Edward Jollie's survey 
work Planning Christchurch Naming the streets 
Canterbury Association's Charter Arrival of Mr. 
Godley, and his first impressions Work stopped 
for want of funds Difficulties in London Small 
area of land only applied for Surrender of its 
Charter by New Zealand Company Society of Can- 
terbury Colonists "Canterbury Papers" Riccar- 

Captain Thomas arrived at Port Cooper in July, 1849. 
His first proposal was to establish Christchurch, the capital 
city, at the head of the harbour on the flat ground beyond 
Governor's Bay. Port Lyttelton was to be further up 
the harbour than it is at present, near the Maori Settle- 
ment of Raupaki. The present site of Christchurch was 
to be occupied by a subordinate town, to be named 
Stratford. All this is shown in a map prepared at the 
time, in which the harbour of Lyttelton is named " Port 
Victoria," and a road marked connecting the proposed 
sites of Christchurch and Stratford via Dyer's Pass. But 
after a more deliberate survey, it was recognised that 
the town on the Avon, commanding the trade of the 
Canterbury Plains, was likely to become the principal 


centre of population, and it was finally decided to make 
it the capital of the province. 

There has been some controversy respecting the 
origin of the choice of " Christchurch " as the name of 
the capital city of Canterbury. The accidental coin- 
cidence that Christchurch in Hampshire is also situated 
on a river Avon seems to have started a theory that the 
New Zealand Christchurch was named after this city. 
Archdeacon Harper, writing on Christmas Day, 1856, 
immediately after landing, endorsed this theory. He 
wrote: " Through the site of the town, the river Avon, 
so called from the river at Christchurch, in Hampshire, 
winds its picturesque course." But there can be no 
doubt that the combination of the two names in Canter- 
bury was quite fortuitous. Captain Thomas, as we 
have seen, at first proposed to place Christchurch at the 
head of Port Lyttelton, where there was no river. He 
proposed to place a subordinate town on the Avon 
(already named), where Christchurch now stands, and 
to call it Stratford the association obviously being with 
quite a different Avon, Shakespeare's Warwickshire 
stream. The Canterbury Avon was named by the 
brothers Deans, after the Lanarkshire stream which 
formed the boundary of their grandfather's estate in 
Ayrshire. There seems to be ample evidence on this 
point, the most conclusive being a letter written by Mr. 
John Deans to his father (January 20, 1849), in which 
he said, " Captain Thomas has fixed on this place as the 
site of the Canterbury settlement. . . The river up 
which we now bring our supplies is to be called the Avon 
at our request, and our place Eiccarton." 

Neither does there appear to be any sound reason 
for assuming that Christchurch was named after 
the Hampshire city. It might, indeed, be more 
plausibly suggested that the capital of the Province of 
Canterbury was called after the patron Saint of Canter- 
bury Cathedral, which was consecrated in A.D. 597 by 


S. Augustine, under the name of Christ Church. But the 
circumstantial evidence in favour of its being called after 
Christ Church, Oxford, is very strong. The foundation of 
the Canterbury Association was largely a Christ Church, 
Oxford, movement. Mr. Godley was a Christ Church 
man, and naturally drew round him many of his old 
College friends. Moreover, the plan of the Canterbury 
Association included a Cathedral and a College in the 
centre of the capital city, the two to be closely associated 
in one enclosure (Cathedral Square), evidently modelled 
on the same lines as Christ Church, Oxford. " The 
House," as Christ Church is commonly called, besides 
being numerically the largest College in Oxford, is 
unique in possessing a cathedral within its gates, the 
smallest in England, founded in the eighth century by 
Saint Frideswide. The college was founded by Cardinal 
Wolsey, and in 1546, Henry VIII. established the com- 
posite foundation under which the church of Saint Frides- 
wide became both the Cathedral of the diocese and the 
College Chapel. Taken together, these points seem to 
afford strong presumptive evidence of the Oxford spon- 

Shortly after his arrival at Port Cooper, Captain 
Thomas sent for Mr. Edward Jollie to join him. The 
two men had met in Otago in 1846, where they had 
been engaged in surveying for the Otago Associa- 
tion. They had met again in Nelson in November, 
1848, when it was arranged that as soon as a site for the 
new settlement had been selected, Mr. Jollie should join 
the survey party. He came out originally as a cadet 
to the New Zealand Company in 1841, and had had 
varied colonial experience, including survey work and 
sheep farming, the latter in conjunction with his brother 
in Nelson. The following notes of his early work in 
Canterbury are mainly based on an account contributed 
by Mr. Jollie to the Jubilee number of the Christchurch 
4 'Weekly Press" (December 15, 1900). 

MR. EDWARD JOLLIE. 1849. 27 

He arrived in Lyttelton on August 12, 1849, and 
three days later set to work on the survey of that town. 
On the completion of this task, he started, in October, 
1849, to prepare a similar survey for the proposed town 
of Suniner. There is an old map still extant at the 
Land Office, Christchurch, prepared by him in November, 
1849, and signed by Captain Thomas, on which are 
recorded the names proposed to be given to the streets 
of that town, but Sumner was afterwards abandoned, 
arid the land thrown open for rural selection. 

At the end of the year, Mr. Jollie was sent to the 
plains to survey the capital city, Christchurch. He took 
the place of another surveyor, a Mr. Scroggs, who was 
resigning from the service of the Association to return 
to England. "I lived in Scroggs' grass house at 'The 
Bricks,' and the six men who were with me, in a 
weatherboard hut close by. The day was, of course, 
spent in work, and in the evening I had eel-fishing, pig- 
hunting, or quail-shooting in the neighbourhood. 
Quails were plentiful, and I shot many on what is now 
the site of Christchurch. My nearest neighbours were 
Cass, who had a house at Riccarton Bush, and the two 
Deanses, who had sheep and cattle, and a good house 
and garden at Riccarton. There were, in fact, no 
other people on the plains." 

"The Bricks" was a landing place on the south 
bank of the Avon, at a point close to the present Bar- 
badoes Street bridge, opposite the Star and Garter 
Hotel. When the Deans brothers were establishing the 
first permanent settlement upon the plains, as described 
later, they conveyed their goods up the Avon in a 
whaleboat. A cargo of bricks was brought as far as 
possible by that means, but had to be unloaded when 
shallow water was reached. The spot chosen for the 
landing became known as "The Bricks." Afterwards 
a small wooden wharf was constructed there, and was 
used by the pioneer settlers when they were transporting 


their belongings from the ships in Lyttelton to their 
homes in the new settlement. 

Mr. Jollie's plan of Christchurch was then prepared, 
and approved by Captain Thomas, "except as to one or 
two parts in which I had indulged in a little ornamenta- 
tion, such as crescents. These were pronounced 'ginger- 
bread,' and I was not sorry to give them up for some- 
thing more practical ; but Thomas made one change 
which I have always regretted. I had proposed that 
several of the streets, instead of being one chain wide, 
should be wide enough to admit of their being planted 
with trees. Thomas would not agree to this, but after- 
wards, when the work was nearly finished, he gave 
his leave to widen one or two of the principal streets, 
if it could be done without materially delaying the 
completion of the survey, but it was then impossible to 
do it." If Mr. Jollie's plan had been sanctioned, 
Christchurch would have had several fine boulevards, and 
we should have been spared the congestion of traffic at 
the Bank of New Zealand Corner. 

Then came the naming of the streets, and Mr. Jollie's 
narrative presents a quaint picture of the baptismal 
ceremony. The plan was to use the names of the 
various dioceses of the Church of England. "Thomas, 
with his gold spectacles on, and a ' Peerage ' in his hand, 
read out a name that he fancied, and if he thought' it 
sounded well, and I also thought so, it was written on 
the map. The Lyttelton map was the first that was 
finished, and the first dealt with. Sumner followed. 
The result was that these two towns had used up most 
of the tip-top English titles, and for Christchurch, which 
came last, there was scarcely anything left but Ireland 
and the colonies." The names used in Lyttelton were 
those of Canterbury (for the principal street), Norwich, 
Exeter, London, Oxford, Ripon, St. Davids, Winchester 
and Dublin. At Sumner (called after the Primate of 
England, the President of the Canterbury Association), 


the name of "York" was given to the water frontage 
running from the Cave Rock to the Baths ; the other 
names were those of Ely, Carlisle, Rochester, Bristol, 
Wells and Newcastle. 

It is regrettable that greater discrimination was not 
used in the choice of names for the streets of the capital 
city. It is difficult, for instance, to understand how 
the main thoroughfare, that on which the Cathedral 
afterwards faced, came to be named Colombo Street, 
while such a name as " Chichester " was overlooked. 
Old Welsh "Llandaff," and, if no other dioceses were 
available, the ancient deaneries of Westminster and 
Windsor might well have taken precedence over Bar- 
badoes, Madras or Montreal. It must, however, be 
admitted that in Oxford and Cambridge Terraces, the 
opposing banks of the river, were well named, and 
Cranmer and Latimer Squares are quite in keeping with 
the ecclesiastical character of the settlement. The 
boundaries of the city, as then laid out, were Salisbury, 
St. Asaph, Barbadoes and Antigua Streets, on north, 
south, east and west, respectively, and beyond these 
came public reserves, which were afterwards sold, ex- 
tending to the old Town Belts (now known as Bealey, 
Fitzgerald and Moorhouse Avenues). On the west, lay 
the main public reserve, our present Hagley Park and 
Domain Gardens, a splendid heritage and abiding 
memorial to the foresight of the founders of the city. 
Hagley Park was called after Lord Lyttelton's seat near 
Strowbridge, and similarly on the Sumner plan, a 
" Killegar Park," named after Mr. Godley's birthplace, 
is shown. 

No diagonal streets were provided on Mr. Tollie's 
plan, and it was not until after the contract had been let 
for the construction of the Ferry Road that the necessity 
of a connecting thoroughfare with the North Road was 
recognised. Hence it is that A^ictoria and High Streets 
are non-comformist to the Episcopalian nomenclature. 


One more point deserves notice. In the original 
plan, the whole of Cathedral Square was set aside as 
one block for ecclesiastical and educational purposes, 
the idea being to form a Cathedral and College in the 
same enclosure in the centre of the city. It was, how- 
ever, considered that the obstruction to city traffic 
offered by so large a block would be an inconvenience, 
and provision was afterwards made for streets crossing 
the Square. The plan was completed on March 18, 1850, 
and a copy sent to the Association in London. 

On November 13, 1849, the Charter of Incorporation 
was obtained (Canterbury Papers, p. 57), and on Decem- 
ber 1 an agreement was entered into between the New 
Zealand Company and the Canterbury Association. Under 
this agreement, 2,500,000 acres (instead of the 1,000,000 
acres originally contemplated) w^ere to be reserved for 
the Association for ten years. 

The value of the land which the Association under- 
took to sell within six months was reduced to 100,000, 
and provision was made for the repayment of the advance 
for preliminary expenses out of the General Purpose 
Fund. In other respects, the lines of the " Plan of the 
Association for forming the Settlement of Canterbury" 
were followed. 

Meanwhile Mr. Godley had been busy organising in 
London during the whole of 1848, though not then con- 
templating the part he actually played in the leadership 
of the settlement. His bent was, in fact, a political 
career, and had health permitted, he would probably have 
entered the House of Commons. But in 1849, his health 
showed signs of giving way, and on January 9, 
he wrote that he had been ordered by his doctor 
to the Isle of Wight. Later on in September, 
he had been warned that he would have to leave 
England for the winter, and Mr. Wakefield, with 
whom he had been staying, suggested New Zealand. 
It was about this time that Mr. Godley became deeply 


impressed with the necessity of granting real self-gov- 
ernment to the colonies, and he left behind him a letter 
expressing his views on the subject, addressed to Mr. 
Gladstone, which is worth perusal as evidencing his fore- 
sight of the future of the British Colonial Empire. He 
sailed for New Zealand with his wife and sou (he had 
married in 1846) in the " Lady Nugent," on December 
12. 1849), and arrived at Port Cooper on April 12, 1850. 

His first impressions of Lyttelton were expressed in 
a letter to his friend, Mr. Adderley, dated April 22. 
"On rounding the Bluff aforesaid again I was perfectly 
astounded at what I saw. One might have supposed 
that the country had been colonised for years, so settled 
and busy was the look of its port. In the first place 
there is what the Yankees would call a ' splendid ' jetty, 
from thence a wide, beaten-looking road leads up the 
bill, and turns off through a deep cutting to the east- 
ward . On each side of the road there are houses 
scattered, to the number of about twenty-five, including 
two ' hotels,' and a custom-house ! (in the shape of a 
weather-boarded hut certainly, but still a custom-house). 
In a square railed off close to the jetty are four excellent 
houses, intended for emigrants' barracks, with a cook- 
house in the centre. Next to the square comes a small 
house, which Thomas inhabits himself, and which iV 
destined for an agent's office; behind this, divided from 
it by a plot of ground intended for a garden, stands a 
stately edifice, which was introduced in due form to us 
as 'our house.' . . . The (Sumner) road is a tre- 
mendous piece of work on the harbour side, great part 
of it being carried through solid rock, which can only 
be removed by blasting. . . . The line, to my un- 
professional eye, seems very well engineered, being 
nowhere steeper than one in twenty." 

But Mr. Godley was bitterly disappointed to find that 
the 20,000 credit had been overspent by nearly 4,000. 
and accused Captain Thomas of extravagance in too 


much building, and in employing an architect while the 
road to the plains was still incomplete. He fully re- 
cognised Captain Thomas's good qualities, a "rough, 
vigorous, determined" man, capable of dealing with the 
classes of labour available, and his letter continued : 

"However, Thomas has so evidently done his best, 
has spared himself so little, and has evinced so much zeal, 
that I thought it would be cruel,, as well as useless, to 
find fault with him, except in the mildest form for his 
errors in judgment." Referring to Thomas's new plan 
of surveying, he said: "It is very cheap, not more, he 
assures me, than five farthings an acre for the whole 
district, and very accurate and satisfactory. The 
colonial surveyors who began by disapproving have all 
read their recantation; and Captain Stokes,* of the 
' Acheron,' a most competent judge, has told me that he 
' has seen nothing south of the Line ' to equal the maps 
Thomas has shown him. He has triangulated about 
700,000 acres, and promises that by July the maps of at 
least 300,000 acres of the best agricultural land will have 
been completed in detail." 

In justice to Captain Thomas, it should be remem- 
bered that he was placed in a difficult position. At the 
time his credit of 20,000 was established, it was expected 
that the site of the settlement would be in the Wairarapa, 
where there would have been no Summer Road or jetty 
to cost money. His choice of a site was undoubtedly 
wise, but involved expenditure beyond that contemplated. 
There were no telegrams then, and it would have taken 
at least eight months to obtain a remittance. His choice 
lay between stopping preparations for the settlers, who 
might arrive at any time, or accepting the advance offered 

*Captain (afterwards Admiral) John Lort Stokes, of H.M.S. 
" Acheron," was engaged in survey work on the New Zealand 
coast, November, 1848, to March, 1851. He had had eighteen 
years' previous experience on the survey ship "Beagle," rendered 
famous by Darwin's "Voyage of a Naturalist Round the World." 


by the agent of the New Zealand Company. He chose 
the latter, and who shall blame him? 

The work represented by his expenditure, accord- 
ing to his report to Mr. Godley, dated May 15, 1850, 
included the trigonometrical survey of 6/700,000 acres, 
the topographical survey of about 300,000 acres, the 
formation of a portion of the road to Sumner, the build- 
ing of a jetty 150 feet long, of emigration barracks, 
boathouse, boatshed, agent's house, Association's 
offices, and the store at Sumner. Considering the 
difficulties of obtaining labour carpenters were brought 
from Tasmania, and Maoris as labourers from Welling- 
ton Captain Thomas must surely be held to have shown 
good value for the money he had spent. 

Pending the receipt of remittances from England, Mr. 
Godley decided to suspend further operations, and, 
having nothing to require his supervision, continued in 
the " Lady Nugent," sailing two days later for Wel- 
lington, where he judged he could be of more use by 
getting into touch with Mr. Fox, the principal agent of 
the New Zealand Company, and other prominent men in 
the colony. 

While matters in the colony are thus brought to a 
standstill, let us see how the affairs of the Association 
are advancing in London. 

The agreement with the New Zealand Company con- 
tained a stipulation that at least 100,000 worth of land 
should be sold within the first six months, otherwise the 
contract would be void. When, therefore, in January, 
1850, the Canterbury Association began to offer its land, 
a Clause (No. 28) was inserted in the conditions of sale 
which ran as follows: "In case, through any unfore- 
seen circumstances, it should be determined on or before 
the 30th April, 1850, that the enterprise of the Associa- 
tion should not proceed, all deposits and purchase money 
previously paid will be returned in full." This clause, 
though necessary for the protection of the Association, 


gave offence to the Committee of Management of the 
intending colonists, who protested against "the general 
uncertainty of your going on with your undertaking." 

Lord Lyttelton and others again came to the assist- 
ance of the Association by giving their personal guaran- 
tee to make good any deficiency in the event of the land 
sales failing to reach the agreed minimum. This arrange- 
ment was accepted by the New Zealand Company, and on 
April 16 the objectionable clause (No. 28) was with- 
drawn, and the time for receipt of applications extended 
to June 30. 

But when the tenders were opened on July 1 it was 
found that only 8650 acres had been applied for. To add 
to the troubles of the Association, four days later, on 
July 5, the New Zealand Company closed its career, and 
surrendered its charter to the Government, invalidating 
thereby the agreement it had made with the Association. 
The emergency was met mainly by the exertions of Mr. 
Henry Sewell, M.P., the Deputy-Chairman of the Asso- 
ciation, who, in spite of the late period of the session, 
succeeded in August in passing through Parliament an 
Act (Victoria 13 and 14 C. 70) granting the Association 
from the Crown similar privileges to those it had 
enjoyed under the New Zealand Company's agreement. 

In spite of the discouragement caused by the small 
quantity of land applied for, the officers of the Associa- 
tion decided to persevere. On August 30, additional 
land, to the amount of 4,500 acres was applied for and 
sold, and the arrangements for the embarkation of the 
"pilgrims" continued. The Committee of Manage- 
ment of intending colonists has been referred to, and 
as this body, under a different name, continued its exist- 
ence in the colony, and took an active part in public 
affairs during the early years of the settlement, it should 
be noticed here. The policy of the Association was to 
do all in its power to promote sympathy and good-fellow- 
ship amongst its little band of pioneer settlers. With 


this object, the Association provided a set of rooms in 
the " Adelphi," known as the Colonists' Rooms, as a 
common meeting-place for the future pilgrims. A 
recollection of these rooms no doubt lingered long in the 
memory of many as the scene of first acquaintanceships, 
to ripen afterwards into life-long friendship. In these 
rooms, on April 25, 1849 (Canterbury Papers, p. 112), 
the Society "of Canterbury Colonists was formed, and 
rules adopted, Mr. W. Guise Brittan being Chairman of 
the meeting. The Association had its own organ, the 
" Canterbury Papers," which preserved a record of the 
proceedings of the Society. We can there read how on July 
4, 1850, a Constitution, drafted by Mr. J. E. Fitz- 
Gerald, afterwards first Superintendent of Canterbury, 
was unanimously adopted. This constitution was some- 
what exclusive ; only land purchasers could be enrolled 
as members, and only those land purchasers who were to 
sail in the first four ships or had previously sailed. A 
Council was to be elected to conduct the affairs of the 
Society until the departure for New Zealand, and then 
to adjourn to meet again in Canterbury as soon as two- 
thirds of its members had arrived there. The last clause 
of the constitution ran as follows "The new Council 
shall be entrusted with the conduct of all negotiations 
on the part of the colonists with the Association and 
with the Government." Mr. FitzGerald's object in 
framing a constitution was evidently to provide the 
Canterbury settlers with the nearest, approach possible 
to representative government. This was particularly 
desirable on account of a minute of the Committee of the 
Canterbury Association (see Canterbury Papers, p. 108) 
dated May 24, 1850. In this minute, while the Associa- 
tion confidently anticipated the fulfilment of the promise 
of the Government to constitute a separate province and 
grant local government, it recognised that an interval 
must elapse before this could take place, and during that 
interval the Committee proposed that all communications 


between the settlers and the Association should be made 
through Mr. Godley, the Chief Agent of the Association, 
acting with the Bishop of the settlement. It was clear 
then, that the provision of a representative committee to 
speak on behalf of the colonists was very desirable. 

The following were the names of the members of the 
first Committee, many of whom were afterwards well 
known in Canterbury : 

W. G. Brittan (Chairman), Lieut. -Col. Campbell, 
James Edward FitzGerald, George Lee, Charles Maunsell, 
Henry Phillips, John Watts Russell, Henry Sewell, 
Henry John Tancred, James Townsend, Felix Wakefield, 
E. R. Ward. Of these, Mr. Lee was unable to sail in 
one of the first ships, and Mr. Sewell found that his 
-duties as Vice-Chairman of the Association would engross 
the whole of his time. Their places on the Committee 
were taken by Mr. Thomas Cholmondeley and Henry 
Savage, M.D. 

About a month after the election of this Com- 
mittee, the embarkation took place. The " Ran- 
dolph," "Charlotte Jane," "Sir George Seymour," and 
"Cressy," lay close together in the East India Dock, 
Blackwall, and on July 30 a public breakfast was given 
on board the "Randolph" to the departing colonists. 
On Sunday, September 1, a special service was held at 
S. Paul's Cathedral, the sermon being preached by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the President of the Associa- 
tion. The "Randolph," the " Charlotte Jane " and the 
"Cressy" sailed from Plymouth on September 7, and 
the "Sir George Seymour" on the following day. 

Before recording the arrival of the Colonists at Lyt- 
telton, the story of the only settlement then existing on 
the Canterbury Plains should be told. 

There had been earlier settlements by whalers on 
Banks Peninsula, but the first attempt at real cultivation 
on the plains was made by Mr. James Heriot, represent- 
ing Messrs. Abercrombie and Co., of Sydney, who landed 



FOR 1852. 

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on April 7, 1840, at Otahoa, near the outlet of Lake 
Forsyth, and brought two assistants. Mr. Heriot's 
object was to grow wheat for the Sydney firm, and the 
land he selected for the purpose was situated at Poto- 
ringamutu (a Maori name meaning the place of an echo), 
afterwards named Riccarton by the Deans brothers. The 
journey from Otahoa was accomplished in a bullock 
waggon, along the beach to Taumutu, and thence 
through the present site of Southbridge. Soon after- 
wards Messrs. Abercrombie and Co. failed, and Mr. 
Heriot returned to Sydney, but one of his assistants, Mr. 
Malcolm McKinnon, remained behind and attempted to 
continue the settlement single-handed. The task proved 
too heavy for him, and in March, 1841, he gave it up 
and removed to Akaroa. 

It was in 1843 that the Deans brothers took up the 
land at Riccarton, which has ever since remained in the 
occupation of their family. William, the elder brother, 
came to Wellington in the "Aurora" in 1840, and was 
followed by John, who landed in Nelson from the 
"Thomas Harrison," October 25, 1842. Each of the 
brothers had purchased "scrip" from the New Zealand 
Company in London, to be exchanged for grants of land 
in the colony. Like many other colonists, the Deans 
were dissatisfied with the choice of land offered them. 
Most of the country round Wellington was then covered 
with heavy bush, and there was also the danger arising 
from the rival land claims made by different tribes of 
Maoris. Mr. William Deans had visited the Port Cooper 
Plains with Captain Danniell in 1841, as mentioned in an 
earlier chapter, and had been impressed by the great 
possibilities for successful settlement which so large a 
tract of open country afforded. He therefore persuaded 
his brother to join with him in forming a settlement at 
Potoringamutu. The Port Cooper Plains were not at 
that time open for land selection, and the brothers had 
to take their chance of being able, later on, to secure 


.a title to the land on which they were about to settle ; 
but they had the support of the Government, which in- 
structed Mr. Robinson, the Magistrate at Akaroa, to 
facilitate their settlement. 

Mr. William Deans sailed from Wellington on Feb- 
ruary 11, 1843, in Mr. Sinclair's 30-ton schooner, and 
reached Port Levy ten days later. He brought with 
him two assistants, Messrs. Gebbie and Manson, and 
their families. From Port Levy the journey was con- 
tinued in a whale-boat as far as " The Bricks," and then 
by canoe to a large pool at the gully west of the present 
Hospital. Here the party disembarked and completed 
the journey to Potoringamutu on foot. 

Mr. William Deans had brought with him the frame- 
work of a house, but the nails had been left behind, and 
their place had to be taken by wooden pegs. The sub- 
stitution did not affect the stability of the building, for 
it remained standing till 1890*. The name of Biccarton 
was given to the settlement after the 'home of the Deans 
family in Ayrshire. Mr. John Deans joined his brother 
.at Riccarton in the following June, arriving from Sydney 
where he had gone to buy stock. He brought with him 
a number of valuable animals, and succeeded in landing 
them all safely. 

It was some years before a title could be obtained for 
the land, but in 1848 Colonel Wakefield sent Mr. Alfred 
Wills to inspect the property. The following quotation 
from his report, dated September 21, 1848, will serve 
to indicate its tenor: "It may be proper that I should 
mention that Messrs. Deans have expended a considerable 
sum in improving their station ; an excellent house has 
Tieen built, also kitchen and several out-buildings, a 

*The distinction of being the first house built on the Canter- 
bury Plains was claimed for a two-roomed hut built in 1840, in 
Hagley Park, for Mr. Pollard, a surveyor. This building was 
removed in 1852 to the back of the old Gaiety Theatre, and was 
.afterwards used as a laundry for Warner's Hotel- 


sheep paddock of more than 500 acres is fenced in and 
trenched (the tortuous course of two small streams 
rendering it only necessary to fence one side), and there 
is a considerable piece of land under the plough. The 
house, farm buildings, bridge over the little river, etc., 
have all been substantially erected, and the station 
generally has all the appearance of a well managed farm, 
none of the makeshifts usually seen in squatters' loca- 
tions being visible." 

There can be no doubt that Mr. Willis's report 
had weight with the agent of the New Zealand Company, 
and that he wished to encourage such enterprising settle- 
ment, but the control of the Port Cooper Plains passed 
about this time into the hands of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion, and in 1849 Captain Thomas, the agent of that 
Association caused a survey to be made and a map drawn 
on which a block of 400 acres at Riccarton was shown as 
the first estate reserved on the Canterbury Plains. The 
map was dated August 22, 1849, and signed by Captain 
Thomas as agent for the Canterbury Association. 

For more than seventy years the Riccarton Bush 
remained the property of the Deans family, and very 
early in that period became the only surviving piece of 
native bush in the Canterbury Plains a landmark for 
miles round. It was carefully preserved by the family, 
who surrounded it with a shelter belt of English trees, 
which are now as tall as the native timber, and when 
some years ago, the old R-iccarton homestead had to be 
rebuilt, the new house was panelled with oak grown on the 
estate. The preservation of standing bush on such 
valuable land as that at Riccarton involved a very great 
pecuniary sacrifice, but it is also on the higher ground of 
sentiment and old association that Canterbury owes a 
debt of gratitude to the Deans family. 

It only remains to add that in 1914, the Riccarton 
Bush, comprising nearly sixteen acres, was presented 
by the Deans family, a free gift to the Mayor of Christ- 


church as the representative of the people of Canterbury, 
and an Act was passed by the General Assembly vesting- 
the property in a Board of Trustees, on which it was 
provided that the family should be represented. 

All accounts agree in grateful acknowledgment of the 
kindness and hospitality extended to early settlers by the 
brothers Deans at a time when such help was greatly 

Mr. William Deans was drowned at sea, near Wel- 
lington, on July 23, 1851. Mr. John Deans went Home 
in 1852, married, and returned with his wife, by the 
" Minerva," arriving on February 2, 1853. He died 
on June 23 of the same year, leaving one son, the late 
Mr. John Deans, of Riccarton. 

Mrs. John Deans (senr.) wrote some memoirs of early 
Riccarton, from which some of the above story has been 




' ' I hear the tread of Pioneers 

Of nations yet to be ; 
The first low wash of waves, where soon 

Shall roll a human sea." 


Arrival of " First Four Ships " Welcomed by Governor 
Grey and by Mr. Godley Meeting of Society of 
Land Purchasers Choice of site for capital Bishop 
Selwyn The " Lyttelton Times "Dr. Jackson, the 
Bishop-Designate Allotment of lands and choice of 
sections St. Michael's Church Squatting Regula- 

News had been brought by the " Phcebe Dunbar " in 
November of the intended date of sailing of the first 
four ships, and on Monday, December 16, 1850, His 
Excellency the Governor and Lady Grey, who had arrived 
in H.M.S. "Fly," were waiting to welcome the 
Pilgrims. On that day Mr. Godley, standing on the 
shores of Lyttelton, witnessed the realisation of his 
dream. The " Charlotte Jane " was the first ship to 
arrive, casting anchor about 10 o'clock in the morning, 
after a voyage of one hundred days. The " Randolph " 
followed about 5 o'clock in the evening of the same day, 
and next morning, the "Sir George Seymour" arrived. 


The " Cressy " was later, and did not reach Lyttelton 
till December 27. 

During the long voyage only two of the four vessels 
had spoken each other, the "Randolph" and the "Sir 
George Seymour, and their meeting in mid-ocean was 
marked by a curious incident. One of the " Randolph's " 
passengers, Mr. Cyrus Davy, who had missed his pas- 
sage and had been taken on by the " Sir George Sey- 
mour," was transferred to the former ship and enabled 
to rejoin his luggage. 

When the first boat from the "Charlotte Jane " came 
alongside the jetty, Mr. FitzGerald was in the bows 
ready to spring ashore, and succeeded in securing the 
honour of being the first Pilgrim to set foot in Canter- 
bury. He was closely followed by Dr. Barker. Mr. 
S. C. Farr, who had come over from Akaroa to greet the 
new arrivals, witnessed the incident, and sixty years later 
was still able to recall the green velvet coat, breeches, 
and gaiters with mother of pearl buttons, which con- 
stituted the landing suit of the first Superintendent. 

The colonists were welcomed by His Excellency, who 
modified the Customs regulations to enable them to land 
their personal belongings free of duty, and made some 
necessary appointments. Mr. Godley, in addition to 
his other responsibilities, became Resident Magistrate 
and Commissioner of Crown Lands. Mr. FitzGerald 
was appointed Emigration Agent, and Mr. W. G. Brittan 
was selected to take charge of the Land Office 

The colonists were fortunate in experiencing a spell 
of glorious weather for their disembarkation. But for 
this, the almost simultaneous arrival of three ships would 
have put a severe strain on the accommodation and 
transport facilities provided. All heavy luggage had to 
be transported to Christchurch by water, via Sumner 
and up the river to " The Bricks." The Pilgrims crossed 
the bridle track on foot, carrying with them their lighter 
personal belongings, and then had to flounder through 


the swanips between the foot of the hills aud Christchurch. 

Many accounts of that pilgrimage have come down 
to us, and of the varied impression created by the first 
view of the "promised land" as seen from the summit. 
The Riccartoii and Papanui bushes were the most notice- 
able features, with the Rangiora bush visible in the 
distance. To the east and north of Christchurch were 
great stretches of raupo swamp and of sandhills. The 
late Mr. George Robert Hart, for many years chief 
reporter for the " Press," has left in " Stray Leaves from 
the Early History of Canterbury," a description of the 
Christchurch of 1851. Mr. Hart came out as a boy with 
his parents in the " Cressy." His father pitched his 
tent (a ship's sail) on the site of the present White Hart 

Christchurch was then a waste of high fern and tutu, 
through which the surveyors had cut rough tracks. In- 
deed, a year later it is said that a new arrival lost his 
way amongst the scrub in Cathedral Square and was 
found plaintively asking to be shown the way to Christ- 
church. Behind the White Hart, in Lichfield Street, 
was a raupo swamp, another to the east extended nearly 
to the present Lancaster Park. These areas were the 
haunts of swarms of ducks and pukaki. Running diagon- 
ally across the site of the city was a deep gully, carry- 
ing water in winter time too deep to be forded. This 
gully left the river near St. Michael's Church it can still 
been seen in the vicarage gardens crossed Cashel Street, 
passed near the Bank of New Zealand Corner, through 
Dr. Prins' garden, where the Canterbury Hall now 
stands, and flowed back into the river near the Man- 
chester Street bridge. 

We shall come later to the first selection of sections 
by the settlers. In the first instance, each man pitched 
his camp where he pleased, cutting down the fern and 
tutu to make a clearing, and it happened that the first 
group of buildings grew up near "The Bricks" wharf 


which was the landing place for goods transhipped from 

Another centre was formed by the Land Office on the 
site of the present Municipal Buildings, also on the river, 
and nearby in Worcester Street, Dr. Barker, to whom we 
are indebted for a fine collection of early photographs, 
pitched his tent. The accidental grouping of settle- 
ment round these two centres was typical of the time. 
The city had certainly been planned on paper and 
there were tracks cut to indicate the lines of some of 
the streets ; apart from this, the land was a waste of 
sand, fern and scrub, crossed by a waterlogged gully. 
He would have been a prophet indeed who could have 
foretold where the main channels of commerce would be 

There was at that time some confusion between the 
names of Christchurch and Lyttelton. The Association 
had chosen the name of Christchurch for its capital city, 
but the Colonists' Society in London had carried a resolu- 
tion asking that the capital should be called Lyttelton, 
to which the Association had somewhat reluctantly con- 
sented. Mr. Godley had never acquiesced in the change, 
and the names remained on the maps as we know them 
to-day. The confusion of names was only temporary, 
and as the old names were ultimately retained, it need 
not be further referred to. 

But the far more important question had to be decided 
whether the capital city should be at the port or on the 
plains. The Committee of the Canterbury Association 
in London favoured the port as the seat of the capital, 
but left the decision to the settlers. The following is 
an extract from the despatch to Mr. Godley dated Lon- 
don, September 7, 1850 (Canterbury Papers, p. 200) : 

" By the terms of purchase the first body of colonists 
are entitled to half-acre allotments in the capital, or to 
quarter-acre allotments in other towns. You will, 
therefore, be under the necessity of determining the site 


of the capital at once. Some difference of opinion has 
been expressed among the intending colonists on this 
subject. Of course, such opinions, formed in ignorance 
of local circumstances, cannot be regarded as at present 
entitled to much consideration. But I call your atten- 
tion especially to the circumstance, that the question of 
the site of the capital has been considered, at all times, as 
one upon which the opinion of the Land Purchasers in 
the Colony themselves (to be ascertained by you in the 
best form which may be practicable) ought to exercise 
an important influence. Apart from a positive engage- 
ment with them to that effect, reasons of policy would 
lead to the same conclusion, it being in the highest 
degree important that in the first infancy of the settle- 
ment, no discontent or disappointment should be felt by 

them on such a point." 

* * * 

"So far as any opinion has been formed here upon 
the question, it appears generally favourable to the 
adoption of Port Lyttelton as the capital. As a 
principle, the Committee think that it would be improper 
to fix the site elsewhere than at the natural point of 
conflux of the population, which must at first, as they 
imagine, concentrate itself round Port Lyttelton." 

Mr. Godley referred the matter to "the Society of 
Land Purchasers " (as the Society of " Canterbury 
Colonists" was now called), and a general meeting was 
held on December 20, at Lyttelton, and presided over by 
Mr. W. G. Brittan, and the following resolution was 
carried unanimously : 

' That this meeting is of opinion that of the two 
sites offered to their selection by the Association for the 
capital, that marked on the map by the name of Christ- 
church is the more eligible, and that Mr. Godley be 
accordingly requested to declare immediately that the 
capital of the settlement will be fixed at that site." 
The resolution was forwarded to Mr. Godlev. and he, on 


December 24, gave his written consent. 

While on the subject of the Land Purchasers' 
Society, it may be convenient to refer to a letter dated 
January 27, 1851, addressed to the Hon. J. Stuart 
Wortley, Honorary Secretary of the Council of the 
Society, in whic'h Mr. Godley expressed his general in- 
tention to be largely guided by the wishes of that Society : 
" So long," to quote his own words, " as I shall be satis- 
fied that your body does really and adequately represent 
the land purchasers of the settlement." To meet this 
proviso, the Council decided to resign the trust confided 
to them into the "hands of the general body of colonists," 
and another election was held, at which the following 
Council was elected : 

Messrs. W. G. Brittan (*), Burke, T. Cholmondeley 
(*), Dampier, W. Deans, J. E. FitzGerald (*), Loiigden, 
H. Phillips (*), J. Watts Eussell (*), H. Tancred (*), J". 
Townsend (*), E. E. Ward (*). 

This Council was not altogether a happy family, and 
went through at least one "crisis," but fortunately it 
included in its membership several men of sterling 
character, who carried it through its difficulties with 
credit and discretion. 

With the opening of the New Year came Bishop 
Selwyn, almost a "first footer," according to a pleasant 
Scottish phrase, to pay his first pastoral visit to Canter- 
bury. The Bishop arrived on January 3, from Wel- 
lington in his own schooner, the "Undine " of 40 tons 
burden. He sailed the little craft himself, navigating 
the rough water from the North Cape to the Auckland 
Islands, which were both included in his immense 
diocese. George Augustus Selwyn was a very notable 
figure in early New Zealand history ; the last and one of 
the greatest of the missionaries. He was born in 1809, 
and educated at Eton and Cambridge. He took a good 
degree in classics, and rowed in the first Oxford and 



Cambridge boat race. He possessed the " mens sana in 
corpore sano," and, as Mr. Gisborne said of him, he 
almost delighted in danger and privation. His thorough 
knowledge of their language enabled him to gain a great 
influence over the Maoris. 

The Bishop officiated on the following Sunday. Dean 
Jacobs was present at the service, which was held in the 
loft above one of the Canterbury Association's goods 
stores. The loft was reached by a ladder, and the seat- 
ing accommodation was provided by planks resting on 
sugar barrels. The Bishop only remained four days 
in Lyttelton, and on January 7, after addressing a 
meeting of colonists, he set sail in his schooner for the 
Chatham Islands, Otago and the Auckland Islands, but 
arranged to return in February to meet Dr. Jackson, the 
Bishop-designate . 

On Saturday, January 11, 1851, appeared the first 
(weekly) number of the "Lyttelton Times," a journal 
which has shared the fortunes and fought the battles 
of the Canterbury Settlement up to the present date. 
Mr. FitzGerald very ably filled the position of editor, and 
Mr. Shrimpton, an Oxford printer, took charge of the 
mechanical department. 

The " Lyttelton Times " became at once an important 
part of the young settlement's institutions. "As long 
as there is but one public journal in a colony,*' said the 
introductory leading article, "we hold it to be the duty 
of the editor to avoid, above all things, making it ex- 
clusively the organ of any particular party. He ought 
so far to consult the public good as to make his journal 
a means for enabling parties or individuals to lay their 
views before their fellow-countrymen, and his columns 
ought to be equally and liberally open lo all. In- 
deed, a far deeper responsibility lies upon us to give 
this means of expression to our fellow-colonists, so 
that our journal may fairly and faithfully represent the 
mind of the whole communitv, from the consideration 


that we are living at present under a government which 
affords the colonists no legitimate and constitutional 
mode of stating their opinions upon questions of public 
interest such as they would possess under a representative 
government, and such as they themselves enjoyed up to 
the moment they left their native shores." 

The article went on to state that the "Lyttelton 
Times" was "wholly independent of the Canterbury 
Association," and recognised " no allegiance to the 
Council of Colonists. Still less can we be accused of 
submitting to any influence from the Government of 
New Zealand. Our anxious wish is that the ' Lyttelton 
Times ' should be the organ of the settlement and of the 
settlers, in the most extended sense, and that it may be 
conducted in such a manner as to be so regarded by our 
fellow-colonists . ' ' 

Only two lines of general policy were laid down 
the first being a general support of the principles 
on which the colony had been founded, and the second 
to insist upon the introduction of a constitution " in 
which the great principle of British law shall be recog- 
nised to the full, that no Englishman shall be taxed 
without his consent, signified by his representatives." 

The new journal was welcomed by the London 
"Times" of July 5, 1851, in a kindly and appreciative 
article : 

" A slice of England cut from top to bottom was 
despatched in September last to the Antipodes." 

It was " a deliberate, long considered, solemn and 
devoted pilgrimage to a temple, erected by nature for 
the good of all-comers, blessed with strong limbs and 
courageous hearts. 

"Between deck and keel were the elements of a 
college, the contents of a public library, the machinery 
for a bank, and the constituent parts of a constitutional 
government. It is superfluous to say that the enter- 
prising voyagers took on board with them type, a press. 


and editor, a reporter, pens, ink and paper, and a deter- 
mined resolution to start a journal for the enlightened 
public of New Zealand, at the very earliest opportunity. 

"It is certainly not a matter of astonishment that 
the Canterbury settlers should settle upon an organ half 
an hour after they were fortunate enough to reach a 
distant home ; but it is really worthy of remark and 
admiration that all the conditions of a highly influential 
journal should present itself in an instant to an anti- 
podean contemporary on a desert coast, quite as readily 
as to the journalist in the centre of this ever busy city. 
It is difficult to glance at the first number of the ' Lyt- 
telton Times,' now before us, and associate its existence 
with a community not a month old. So far from being 
ashamed at our namesake, we are positively proud of 
his acquaintance, and envious of his power. If the 
editor can create so much out of nothing, what would 
he make of such a breeding heap as this of London? " 

This article was reproduced in the " Lyttelton 
Times" of November 22, 1851. The delay gives some 
idea of the time occupied in the conveyance of mails in 
those early days. 

The next event of importance was the arrival on 
February 7, of Dr. Thomas Jackson, the Bishop- 
designate of the Canterbury Settlement, with his wife 
and family. Dr Jackson arrived in the " Castle Eden " 
with 200 more colonists. He had been selected by the 
Canterbury Association as its first Bishop, and had 
assisted the cause of the Association in England. It 
had been intended that he should have been consecrated 
before sailing, but as explained by Lord Lyttelton (at 
the farewell banquet on board the "Randolph"), an 
unforeseen obstacle had been encountered. (Canter- 
bury Papers, p. 177): 

"The existing diocese of New Zealand was conse- 
crated some years ago, and was founded on terms so 
unusually large, and giving most complete possession 


of the colony to the Bishop, that it was the opinion of 
the law office of the Crown that it was impossible to 
make a new diocese without the Bishop's consent. This 
was a mere matter of form, as the Bishop was not only 
willing, but anxious that the new diocese should be 

Bishop Selwyn returned from the Auckland Islands 
to welcome the Bishop-designate, and wished the latter 
to go to Sydney to be consecrated, but Dr. Jackson pre- 
ferred to return to England, and after a stay of only a 
few weeks, left Lyttelton on March 15, it being then 
anticipated that he would be consecrated in London and 
return to the diocese. This expectation was not fulfilled ; 
Dr. Jackson resigned his appointment and accepted a 
living in England. 

Dean Jacobs, who had been chosen by Dr. Jackson in 
England to take charge of Christ's College, and may, 
therefore, be considered a friendly critic, said o'f him : 

"A talented and amiable man, unquestionably, but 
one whom his best friends would probably not consider 
by nature qualified for the work of a colonial Bishop." 

We now come to an important act of colonisation 
the allotment of land to the settlers. This event 
took place on Monday and Tuesday, February 17 
and 18, at the Land Office, which was then only partially 
completed. The building stood on the site of the pre- 
sent City Council Chambers. " Outside the scene looked 
busy enough," said the "Lyttelton Times," of February 
22. "Groups of land purchasers, lounging under the 
verandah, or lying under the luxuriant fern and grass 
with which the streets of Christchurch are still green, 
discussed the merits of their selections or their hopes of 
obtaining favourite spots. Around, horses were tethered 
and dogs quarrelled ; bullocks, dragging timber from the 
bush, raised dust on the recent track; and the carpenters 
continued to work on the outside of the building, within 
which the exciting business of the day was going on. 


"Dr. Barker's tent, which stands immediately opposite 
the Land Office, and is constructed of an immense 
studding sail, formerly belonging to the ' Charlotte 
Jane,' was remarkable for its seasonable hospitality; 
while on the next section an eating-house appeared in 
the most primitive phase, which such an establishment 
can assume. A white cloth spread on boards supported 
joints of mutton and beef, which, together with bread, 
butter, tea and coffee, formed an excellent repast to 
those who were unable to obtain the hospitality of 
friends, or were desirous of patronising the earliest at- 
tempt at a place of public entertainment in Christchurch ; 
whilst around the merry party who sat within, some 
Maori workmen still continued to erect the raupo walls 
of the house the building having been begun only that 
morning." Amongst those present, were Mr. Godley, 
Mr. W. G. Brittan (in charge of the Land Department), 
Mr. T. Cass, who had succeeded Captain Thomas as 
Chief Surveyor, and Messrs. Edward Jollie, Torlesse and 
Boys, surveyors, the latter officers to assist the pur- 
chasers in the identification of the sections they desired 
to select. There were 106 land orders to be dealt with, 
and the names of purchasers were called in order of 
priority as previously determined by ballot, each 
colonist pointing out on the map the section he desired 
to obtain. Fifty sections were allotted the first day, 
and the remainder on the following one. The rural 
sections were in most cases 50 or 100 acres in area. 

The first rural selection, numbered 1, was made by 
Maria Somes, 50 acres in the Lyttelton district, com- 
mencing at Jackson Street ; Number 2 fell to Felix 
Wakefield, 100 acres in " Sumner Bay," and Number 
3 to Ann Bowen, a sister of Mr. Charles Bowen, 50 acres 
in Papanui Wood. The land orders for rural land 
carried in each case the right to a town section, the 
same order of priority being observed. All the first 
selections were made in Lyttelton, mostly along Norwich 


Quay, which then fronted on the sea. Of the three 
above-named, for instance, Maria Somes with first choice, 
selected a section at the corner of Norwich Quay and 
Oxford Street. Mrs. Somes was the widow of Mr. 
Joseph Somes, formerly Chairman of the New Zealand 
Company. This lady had purchased a land order for 
50 acres with the object of founding a scholarship, and 
the revenue received from this section was afterwards 
of considerable value to Christ's College. Felix Wake- 
field and Ann Bowen selected opposite corner sections 
on Norwich Quay and Canterbury Street. The situation 
of the first Christchurch selections has been already 
explained. The traffic to Christchurch was at that 

time by water up the Avon. The wharf known as 
"The Bricks" was near the intersection of Barbadoes 
Street and Oxford Terrace. The first selections taken up 
were therefore all along Oxford Terrace, facing the river 
and near " The Bricks." Mr. G. Durey, who 'came No. 
22 on the list, was the first to make a Christchurch selec- 
tion, the site being on the corner of Oxford Terrace and 
Kilmore Street. E. R. Ward, E. H. Kittoe, H. Savage, 
Rev. B. W. Dudley and F. L. Crompton all followed with 
selections in Oxford Terrace, between Colombo and 
Barbadoes Streets, a locality which did not afterwards 
prosper greatly. More fortunate choices were made by 
holders of some of the later numbers. Mr Felix Wake- 
field, whose second choice was No. 56 on the list, took 
the present site of the United Service Hotel, Mr A. M. 
Buchanan (No. 66) got the Triangle, and Mr H. Phillips 
with two choices (Nos. 69 and 73), selected the sites of 
the Bank of New Zealand, Warner's Hotel and Hobbs' 
Buildings. In passing judgment on the choices made 
by the pioneers, allowance must be made for the condi- 
tion of the site of Christchurch in 1851, which has earlier 
been described. 

It was not till two months later that the first sale 
of town sections in Christchurch and Lyttelton took 



place. The sale was by auction, Mr. Alport being the 
auctioneer, and was held on Wednesday, April 16, on 
the upper floor of the Association's store at Lyttelton, 
the upset price being 24 per section. The highest 
price realised for a Christchurch section was 40, but 
the bidding for Lyttelton sections was more spirited, 
many of the lots fetching double, some three times the 
upset price. 

During the first year of colonisation, the Canterbury 
settlers were naturally engaged in making their homes. 
For the first six months after their arrival, they enjoyed 
a typical New Zealand summer, during which they made 
a sort of encampment at Lyttelton and another at Christ- 
church. After the selection of their land, in February 
there followed a strenuous period occupied in building, 
fencing and planting. 

The framework of some houses had been imported 
in sections, and were on sale at Lyttelton and Christ- 
church, and the enterprising contractor was already 
advertising his willingness to build houses on reasonable 
terms. The Canterbury Association had imported a 
large quantity of building material (Tasmanian and New 
Zealand timber, Tasmanian palings, shingles and laths), 
which were on sale at "The Bricks" in March, also 
nails, bricks, slates, pumps, etc. Sawn timber, includ- 
ing kauri, cost in Lyttelton 18/- to 20/- per hundred feet. 
Timber could be obtained from the Riccarton Bush, the 
Peninsula or the Papanui Bush, but the cost of haulage 
was enormous, and one of the first works undertaken was 
the construction of a road to the Riccarton Bush. The 
first bridge over the Avon was a temporary footbridge 
near the Land Office, nearly on the site of the present 
Worcester Street bridge. This bridge was completed 
in February, and soon became very shaky, and later in 
the year, a cart bridge (also temporary) was built in 
Market Square. 

The most prominent buildings then were Mr. Brittan's 


house, on the site of the present Clarendon Hotel; Dr. 
Barker's, nearly opposite (where the Gas Company's 
Office now stands), and the Land Office. 

The first Church service in Christchurch was held in 
the surveyor's map room, a little wooden building at the 
northern end of the Land Office. This room was used after- 
wards as a meeting 1 place for the Municipal Council. 
During his visit in February, Bishop Selwyn had con- 
ferred with the Bishop-designate, Dr. Jackson, regard- 
ing the need of a church in the town, and it was decided 
to erect a building to serve as a church and schoolroom. 
The Rev. Henry Jacobs preached the first sermon in the 
completed building (St. Michael's Church) on July 20, 

The Land Purchasers' Council afforded the settlers 
an official means of communication with the Canterbury 
Association, and enabled them to voice their complaints ; 
and there were a good many. All through this trying 
period, the tact displayed by Mr. Godley was the salient 
feature of the life of the young settlement. He met 
every complaint fairly ; sometimes he was able to remove 
the difficulty, sometimes he appealed to reason and 
patience, particularly in regard to those first difficulties 
of transport and accommodation, arising from the simul- 
taneous arrival of the first three ships. With all his 
genius for conciliation, he could be firm and even des- 
potic, and never shirked taking the fullest responsibility, 
particularly in "interpreting" the instructions he 
received from London. Still without one saving clause 
his control must have failed, and it did not fail he 
possessed the confidence of the settlers. 

Mr. Godley's handling of the squatting regulations 
forms a good illustration of his methods. By these 
"regulations, only land purchasers were permitted to take 
up runs, and as land purchasers had to be members of 
the Church of England, the plank was an important 
one in the Association's platform. Mr. Godley's cor- 

> d - 


- -a o 

| * 

2 ^ "? 

H g S 



respondence with the Association clearly points out the 
difficulty in which he found himself. The majority of 
the land purchasers, the Canterbury Pilgrims, had no 
experience of sheep-farming, nor did they possess the 
capital or enterprise to embark in it. They were content 
with small holdings of agricultural land near the towns. 
But on the other hand, there was a class of emigrant 
with money and experience, anxious to undertake this 
important branch of settlement, Australian stock-holders, 
nicknamed the " Shagroons." These men, barred out 
of the Canterbury Association's block, were rapidly 
establishing themselves beyond its boundaries. " Mr. 
Rhodes has just driven 5,000 of his sheep to a run just 
outside our block," wrote Mr. Godley, in one of his 
letters, "and several of the Canterbury settlers who are 
going to invest in stock meditate following his example." 
Something had to be done, or the Canterbury block 
would remain waste land, while the country around 
would be settled. Mr. Godley solved the difficulty by 
preparing fresh regulations admitting the "Shagroons" 
to the settlement on terms acceptable to them, and sub- 
mitting the proposed regulations to the Council of Land 
Purchasers, who, recognising the urgent necessity of 
the case, agreed to them. 

Mr. FitzGerald, in his "Memoir of J. R, Godley," 
said : 

"He took upon himself at once to reverse the regula- 
tions of the Association, and to establish new ones ap- 
plicable to the circumstances of the colony. But even 
then he would not violate the most cherished political 
principle of his life the responsibility of those in power 
to the people for whose benefit power is held in trust. 
There had been established a Society consisting of all the 
land purchasers, which formed at starting something like 
a representative body of the resident colonists. Mr. 
Godley submitted to the Land Purchasers' Society a 
set of regulations for squatting: undertaking to put 


them in force, and guaranteeing the assent of the 
Association at Home to their provisions. But he 
required as a condition that ' The Land Purchasers' 
Society ' should agree to the course he proposed. The 
resolutions were moved by Mr. FitzGerald and carried. 
The terms upon which runs were to be held for pastoral 
purposes were fixed to the satisfaction of the Australian 
squatters, who had recently arrived; capital and stock 
continued to flow in, and the ruin which was inevitable 
had the agent rigidly adhered to his instructions, was 
averted. Mr. Deans, of Eiccarton, a very shrewd and 
far-seeing man, used frequently to remark that Mr. Godley 
had saved the colony." 



Demand for Local Government Friction between Mr. 
Godley and the London Council of the Canterbury 
Association Australian Gold Diggings, and their 
effect on Canterbury Survey of first year's work 
of colonisation Society of Canterbury Colonists 
Visit of Governor Grey Land Sales Constitution 
Bill, including provision for Provincial Council- 
Criticism of the Canterbury Association Resigna- 
tion of Mr. Godley, and his departure for England 
and death. 

The first year of the Canterbury Settlement was an 
important period in the general politics of New Zealand, 
as the problem of constitutional government was then 
under consideration. On June 18, the Provincial 
Council Bill was introduced in the Legislative Council, 
then sitting in Auckland. Mr. Godley, in the previous 
year, had taken a strong part in opposing Sir George 
Grey's "Paper Constitution," which, while granting 
nominal self-government, retained all real power in 
Downing Street. He was now equally insistent that 
the implied promise of Earl Grey should be fulfilled, 
and that the Canterbury Settlement should be con- 
stituted a separate province with real power to manage 
its own affairs. 

Sir George Grey had . not forgotten Mr. Godley's 
former opposition, and he raised the jealousy of the 
Nelson settlers against the Canterbury Settlement by 


suggesting that the Association was trying to extend 
its boundaries at the expense of Nelson. No intention 
of the kind had been indicated in any of the official 
correspondence, and the suggestion was distinctly 
repudiated by a public meeting referred to later, but 
there probably was a desire and a reasonable one that 
the whole of the Canterbury Plains, for which Lyttelton 
was the natural outlet, should be controlled from the 
same centre. Any other arrangement must, in the 
nature of things, have proved vexatious to both provinces 
and harassing to the settlers. The disputed territory, 
belonging nominally to Nelson, was not then settled, 
except by a few unlicensed squatters. 

Other points were raised, such as the justice or 
injustice of compelling settlers who might not be mem- 
bers of the Church of England to contribute <! per acre 
of the purchase money of their land to the religious and 
educational objects of that Church. The personal 
friction between Sir George Grey and Mr. Godley was 
reflected from this time onwards in the attitude of the 
former towards the Canterbury Settlement. 

Mr. Godley realised that the settlers were too fully 
occupied by their own affairs to give much attention to 
general politics, but the occasion was too important to 
be passed over, and he organised public meetings at 
Christchurch and Lyttelton on August 14, presiding 
himself over the gathering at the Port. 

The speech made by Mr. Godley on that occasion 
throws some additional light upon his relations with the 
Governor: "I entirely agree with Sir George Grey 
in his disapproval of colonising associations, whether 
they be composed of land speculators or of amateurs," 
"I believe that their existence and functions are alto- 
gether repugnant to sound theory, and almost neces- 
sarily productive of great practical evils. Yet I have 
been an active promoter of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion, and I now stand here to defend it on this ground 


alone, that it is better than the Government. If we had 
a Government able and willing to make its waste ter- 
ritory available for British immigration, and to give 
facilities to' intending colonists for managing their own 
affairs, and colonising on their own principles from the 
first, I should be prepared to admit that an amateur 
association like ours was an intruder. But, as it is, 
I have no hesitation in asserting that our mission is 
perfectly legitimate and exceedingly beneficial. It must 
have been really rather difficult for Sir George Grey's 
audience to keep their countenance while he denounced 
the Canterbury Association as an obstacle to the legiti- 
mate colonisation of this district by the subjects of Her 
Majesty in other words, as keeping people out of 
Canterbury. If anyone else but the Governor had used 
such language, I should really have supposed that it 
had been used in irony. Why, what is the fact ? Most 
of those whom I address know, and all of them ought 
to know, that for seven years, that is, from 1839 to 1846, 
the Government of which Sir George Grey is the repre- 
sentative, possessed almost unlimited powers and oppor- 
tunities for colonising these Islands. . . They have 
had every conceivable advantage and facility at their 
command : funds, troops, steamers, civil administration, 
surveyors. They have spent more money in one year 
than we are likely to have at our disposal in five and 
what have they done? I will tell you. By means oi 
an extravagant expenditure they have founded one 
settlement, or rather they have founded one seaport and 
garrison town, which is not a settlement, to which I do 
not believe five hundred actual settlers have ever gone. 
That is all, literally all, that the Government of New 
Zealand has done for colonisation. And yet Sir George 
Grey gravely complains that the Canterbury Association 
are keeping Her Majesty's subjects from colonising this 
district under the auspices of the Government; he 
taunts us, in fact, with being an obstacle to colonisation. 


Why, if it were not for the Canterbury Association, this 
district would be a wilderness still, as it was for so 
many years before we came. We discovered it, we 
surveyed it, we made it available for settlement, we made 
known its existence and capabilities in England and 
Australia; we organised and administered the system 
of operations by which this desert has been peopled, and 
after having done all this, at vast labour, and with no 
small outlay, it is rather too bad to be told by those who 
have been doing nothing all the time that we are keeping 
for our own purposes a great and fertile district out of the 
hands of Her Majesty's subjects. .... We may 
colonise badly, but they (the Government) do not 
colonise at all. We have done more for colonisation in 
a month than they have done in twelve years." 

Resolutions were passed at both meetings (1) in 
favour of constituting Canterbury as a separate Province; 
(2) asking for economy of administration ; (3) and declar- 
ing that "it is no part of the business of this meeting 
to point out the boundaries of the proposed Province, 
but that it distinctly disclaims any desire to- encroach 
on territory to which other settlements may have a fair 

In seconding the last resolution, Mr. Templer con- 
tended that the natural and impassable boundaries of the 
great Southern Plain enclosed an area "evidently in- 
tended by nature to form a whole," and should not 
arbitrarily be subdivided. One more resolution passed 
at the meetings should be quoted: " That this meeting, 
while urging this claim to a local government for Canter- 
bury, desires to guard itself carefully against being 
supposed to imply assent to. or approval of, the measure 
for establishing Provincial Councils which has lately 
been enacted, inasmuch as that measure does not give 
to the people of this country any real or efficient control 
over the management of their own affairs, and the 
expenditure of their own revenues." After passing such 


a resolution, the next one, tendering thanks to His 
Excellency the Governor "for the gracious and con- 
stitutional manner in which he has referred the decision 
of this question to those whom it mainly or alone con- 
cerns," shows that in those days differences of opinion 
on public questions did not prevent the disputants observ- 
ing the amenities of polite society. 

But all this time, while Mr. Godley, as agent of the 
Canterbury Association, was administering the Province's 
affairs with almost despotic power, building up the settle- 
ment, and moulding its public opinion, he was becoming 
more and more intolerant of the control by a London 
Council, arbitrary in its decisions, and sometimes 
ludicrously ignorant of local conditions. Those frank 
and outspoken letters of his to his friend, Mr. Adderley, 
afford a clue to the change which was rapidly taking 
place in his mental attitude. See for instance, his letter 
of May 21, 1851: "I often think what fun we should 
have taken in old times out of the didactic despatches 
which are written to me, if they had emanated from 
Downing Street. Do you read them? To one reading 
them out here, there is something inexpressibly comic 
about those (especially) on the conduct to be pursued 
towards the natives, and in the ecclesiastical arrange- 
ments. It is very fortunate, it sounds a ' cocky ' thing 
to say, that you have an agent who feels himself strong 
enough and independent enough to act upon his own 
view of what is right and politic." 

In another letter, dated August 29, in which he 
enclosed .the newspaper account of the meeting mentioned 
above, he not only advocated self-government for the 
colonists, but went so far as to claim for them the right 
to decide whether the scheme of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion should be retained. By December 15, Mr. 
Godley 's sentiments had grown stronger still, and, after 
referring to the last despatch of the Association as "a 
thorough Downing Street document," he went on to 


say : ' ' No scheme could be carried out against the will 
of the colonists, and if it is to be carried out with their 
w T ill, why not entrust them with its management? It 
will be most painful to me if I have to enter into an open 
conflict with the Committee ; it is like going to war 
with one's brothers." There he broke off, spoke of 
being " gloriously well," and told of a cricket match 
in which " Brittan and I distinguished ourselves very 

A few months later, on January 20, 1852, he gave 
definite expression to a new confession of faith: "I 
long held with Wakefield that they (colonising associa- 
tions), were positively good; then I came to look on 
them as lesser but necessary evils ; now I am convinced 
that they do more harm than good." The immediate 
occasion for this outburst was the conflict between the 
New Zealand Settlement Act of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment and a local ordinance on the same subject. The 
two enactments were passed simultaneously, but of 
course it was some months before the Imperial Act 
arrived to supersede the ordinance. In the meantime, 
people had been acting on the ordinance, buying land, 
etc., " and behold out comes the Act, and everything that 
has been done under the ordinance falls to the ground." 

It is easy to imagine how galling this was to 
Mr. Godley, and we need not be surprised to find the 
breach widening. In the same letter, he continued : 
" My heart is very sore after reading the Fatima letters. 
I find that my friends of the Committee are most un- 
reasonable and inconsiderate, quite as much on their 
side as I am on mine. Wakefield out-Herods Herod in 
the outrageous virulence of his abuse ; tells me I am 
inconsistent, ungrateful, wild, furious, incapable, worn- 
out, perverse, delirious, and winds up by advising me to 
retire into the country and cultivate my health, which 
is all I am now fit for. I think, if God spares my life, 
I may show him yet that I am fit for something else." 


Then as in a former letter, he broke off suddenly. " But 
let that pass. I hardly see my way to getting back to 
you in England. I think I am more wanted here, and 
that I ought to stay until Canterbury affairs are settled 
on a satisfactory and permanent, footing." So, however 
his faith in colonising associations may have been 
shaken, he was loyal to the settlers who trusted him. 

The first year of the Canterbury Settlement, which 
had now drawn to a close, was remarkable for the dis- 
covery of gold in Australia. If the "Diggings" had 
broken out a year earlier it is impossible to say how 
great an effect they might have had in diverting intend- 
ing Canterbury settlers to Australia. The discovery, as 
it was, proved a severe handicap to the early settlement. 
Labour that had been imported at great expense, drifted 
away to the goldfields, and provisions were forced up to 
famine prices, Hour standing for some months at about 
.40 per ton, quadruple the price at which it had stood at 
Nelson during the previous year. The latter effect might 
have been beneficial in providing a market for Canter- 
bury produce, but till that produce became available, 
there was no counterbalancing advantage to the settle- 

During the first year of settlement, nineteen ships had 
safely arrived, bringing over 3,000 persons; 25,000 
acres of freehold land had been sold, and 400,000 acres 
of pasturage runs had been taken up, and coal had been 
found in the Malvern Hills. The unfinished Sumner 
Road was still the main topic for the Society of Land 
Purchasers, whose Committee urged the raising of a 
loan, and the prompt prosecution of the work. Sir 
George Grey expressed sympathy, and sent a surveyor 
(Roys) to report upon the road. The report, dated 
April 3, 1852, thoroughly endorsed Mr. Thomas's selec- 
tion of route, and stated that the road to Heathcote 
Ferry could be constructed in eighteen months at a 
cost of 12.500. 


An intermittent agitation against the continued 
transportation of convicts to Australia was also being 
carried on, point being given to the protest by the 
avowed dread lest New Zealand should become a convict 

This survey of the first year of settlement would be 
incomplete without some reference to sport. It will 
have been gathered from Mr. Godley's reference to the 
subject that cricket had been acclimatised at a very 
early period in provincial history. The formation of a 
Jockey Club was projected at a meeting held in the 
Reading-room at Christchurch on September 13, 1851, 
and Riccarton was then suggested as a suitable site for 
the racecourse. The names of the members of the Pro- 
visional Committee created on that occasion gave a pre- 
liminary guarantee for the clean sport for which Canter- 
bury afterwards became famous. The Committee con- 
sisted of J. R. Godley, H. Lockhart, Hon. J. Stuart 
Wortley, T. Hanrner, J. C. Watts Russell, E. M. 
Templer, W. G. Brittan and E. J. Wakefield. Those 
readers who are interested in the story of the Canterbury 
Jockey Club will find a short account of its inception 
and growth in the Appendix. 

The political ambitions of the community, still lack- 
ing the privilege of self-government, found an outlet 
in the proceedings of two societies. Early in 1852, the 
Society of Land Purchasers dissolved itself, with the 
expressed object of making room for a new Society, which 
should represent all classes of settlers. The proposed 
society was to have been called the Society of Canter- 
bury Colonists, and initial meetings were called at 
Christchurch and Lyttelton. The outcome, probably due 
to local jealousy, was the formation of separate Colonist 
Societies for Christchurch and Lyttelton. Mr. Henry 
Tancred was Chairman of the Christchurch Society ; Mr. 
Godley of that of Lyttelton, with Mr. J. E. FitzGerald 
as his active lieutenant. Mr. W. G. Brittan, who had 


been Chairman of the Land Purchasers' Society since its 
inception, declined nomination on the new committee. 
Later in the year, a third Society, the Christchurch 
AthentBum, claiming to be non-political, was founded 
under the Chairmanship of the Rev. 0. Mathias. 

In March, His Excellency Sir George Grey paid a 
visit to Canterbury, the first since the arrival of the 
Pilgrims. His Excellency met with a cold reception, 
the fact being that Mr. Godley had carried the Canter- 
bury Settlement with him in his uncompromising hos- 
tility to Sir George Grey's paper constitution. 

The " Lyttelton Times" of April 24 announced the 
advent of its first rival, a weekly newspaper, "The 
Guardian and Canterbury Advertiser," remarking 
that " apart from the pleasure which is afforded by so 
unmistakable an evidence of the advancing prosperity 
of the settlement, the appearance of an additional voice 
for the expression of public opinion will relieve us from 
the difficult position of endeavouring to do justice to 
the opinion of all parties in the community." The new 
journal survived for less than a year, but the building 
in which it was printed became the seat of the first Pro- 
vincial Council of Canterbury. 

During this year there were frequent sales by auction 
of Christchurch sections. Hagley Park, 445 acres, was 
leased for one year at 2/7 per acre, and the Domain, 64 
acres, at 4/7. (" Lytteltoii Times," April 24, 1852.) 
The prices secured for Christchurch sections at auction 
did not indicate the existence of a speculative spirit, but 
they showed that the colonists had confidence in the 
settlement. In April, a town section coveted by several 
bidders brought 40, and the "Lyttelton Times" men- 
tioned that quarter-acre sections beyond the city bound- 
aries had "fetched as much as eight pounds." These 
prices were exceeded quickly, but the fact that the 
Canterbury Association was still offering town sections 


at low upset prices, placed a check on the rise of land 

The year 1852 was Mr. Godley's last year in Canter- 
bury. Overshadowing all local matters were two great 
questions: (1) The New Zealand Constitution Bill ; (2) 
The attitude of the Canterbury settlers towards the 
Canterbury Association. It will be convenient to take 
them separately in their order. Fostered by Mr. Godley, 
a constant agitation was kept up against the Constitution 
Bill in general, and more particularly against Sir George 
Grey's Provincial Council Ordinance. This agitation, 
as events proved, was unnecessary, as in his despatch, 
April 2, 1851, Earl Grey, who had at that time only 
received the draft of the Provincial Councils Bill, had 
decided to disallow it on two grounds, stated therein as 
follows : 

" I do not find that it contains any provision for 
the initiation of money votes. . . The second point 
is, your proposing to rest the power of confirming and dis- 
allowing the ordinances passed by the Provincial Council 
in the Governor-in-Chief, instead of in Her- Majesty. 
This is an innovation of a serious character, and one 
which I conceive the Legislative Council of New Zea- 
land would have no power to make, were it not that the 
language of the Act which you cite, llth and 12th Viet. 
C. 5, is such as to be open to the interpretation that this 
very unusual power is conceded to it by that legislation. 
I am not prepared to advise Her Majesty to consent to 
so material a change in the ordinary form of a colonial 

This despatch, with its implied censure on Sir George 
Grey's autocratic methods, was made known to the Can- 
terbury public by the " Lyttelton Times," on July 24, 
1852, fifteen months after it had been written. During 
that period, the agitation against the Provincial Council 
Ordinances had been allowed to continue. In later days, 
the suppression for more than a year by the Gover- 


nor, of a despatch dealing with a matter of such vital 
importance, and one moreover, in which the Governor 
was himself at variance with the majority of the set- 
tlers, would hardly have escaped comment. Curiously 
enough, the issue of the " Lyttelton Times" which pub- 
lished Earl Grey's despatch of April 2, 1851, also 
announced to the Canterbury public the fall of Lord John 
Russell's Government on February 19, preceding 
another illustration of the time then taken by the mails. 
This news came by way of the Mauritius, and was 
published in a second edition of the newspaper just 151 
days after it occurred. Lord John Russell was succeeded 
by the Earl of Derby, and Earl Grey was replaced at the 
Colonial Department by Sir John Pakington. Largely 
at the instance of Mr. E. G. Wakefield, and of Mr. Henry 
Sewell, the new Government agreed to the New Zealand 
Government Bill, granting a Constitution for New Zea- 
land, and passed it on June 30, 1852. The Act provided 
for six Provincial Councils, the superintendent and 
members to be elected, the latter to be not less than nine 
in number, and the term of appointment to be four years. 
These Councils were restricted from legislating on certain 
defined subjects. Provision was also made in the Act 
for the creation of Municipal Corporations. There were 
also two Clauses, 75 and 76. dealing with the affairs f 
the Canterbury Association. The first clause protected 
the Acts passed on behalf of the Association against 
repeal or interference by the New Zealand Legislature, 
so long as the Association continued to exercise its 
" functions, powers and authorities." The second clause 
permitted the Association to transfer its powers to- 
the Provincial Council. The remainder of the Act 
which constituted a general government for the colony 
need not be particularly referred to here. 

And so another milestone slipped by, and New Zea- 
land gained a Constitution, and Canterbury the right to- 
a Provincial Government. 


Let us now turn to the other main question then 
occupying the attention of the settlers the relation sub- 
.sisting between the Canterbury Association and the 
settlers themselves. In the previous year, the Associa- 
tion had promoted a Bill, which amongst other things, 
.authorised the Association to appoint a local Committee 
to administer the affairs of the settlement. This measure 
was passed by the British Parliament, but it was resented 
by the settlers, who demanded that the local Council 
should be elective. In effect they said to the Associa- 
tion : " You undertook to found a settlement, not to con- 
tinue to govern it ; give us now the management of our 
own affairs." Complaints, too, were made of the con- 
flict of authority between the Association and the Home 
Government ; also that the Association did not fulfil its 
promise to publish detailed accounts. (This referred to 
the London accounts, as Mr. Godley was always careful 
to give every possible explanation of the expenditure in 
the colony.) That these complaints were not much 
louder was entirely due to the loyalty of Mr. Godley to 
the Association, and to his own good judgment- and tact. 
The malcontents were led by Mr. Thomas Cholmondeley, 
who, in February, 1852, published an open letter to Mr. 
Godley, criticising the Association. The letter was, in 
sme respects, unfair, but as indicating the strong feel- 
ing prevalent at the time among a section at least of 
ihe community, the following passage may be quoted : 

"There was once on a time a certain philanthropist 
who by making emigration his hobby, thereby became 
better acquainted with the subject than the majority 
of his neighbours ; one of them, John, by name, was 
desirous of emigrating to some foreign land, in order 
to better his condition. Our philanthropist proceeded 
"to enlighten this man as to the best means of doing so. 
'My good friend,' said he, 'there is a certain savage 
land which is sometimes called Barataria, because it is 
governed from a distance, and in a most unconstitutional 


manner. I am anxious to see you settled there, and 
indeed a man of your spirit will easily be able to resist 
the inroads of the Governor (who, poor fellow, knows no 
better.) I will assist you to repel his marauding inter- 
ference in your private affairs. You shall be well backed 
up from the first with a sound title to the farm which I 
shall buy for you, and since it seems desirable to retain 
our parochial system, etc., etc., in Barataria, I, who 
know the country, will tell you how to go to work in 
a manner worthy of yourself. You shall place a certain 
sum of money in my hands, which I will promise to 
spend for you in the manner herein described (he gave 
John a bit of paper); but, of course, as the money ia 
really yours, the management of it shall be really yours 
also. Thus you will benefit by my experience, which 
I tender gratis.' And John believed him and did as 
he recommended. When he arrived at Barataria, he 
found something done, and a great deal begun. Setting 
to work with the money he had left, he struggled with 
all his heart. It grieved him to receive from his old 
friend many ignorant letters, and still more to get but 
very little of his trust money, without any account of 
how it went. At length the philanthropist, whose tone 
grew higher and higher, despatched an overseer to take 
charge of John altogether. The freaks of the grisly 
tyrant of Barataria (who laughed at the philanthropist) 
now seemed light to John, compared with this astounding 
act of dictation coming from his old friend. What he 
did I know not. I only know that the philanthropist 
goes about to this day, talking of the black ingratitude 
of John." 

Remembering Mr. Godley's private letters to Mr. 
Adderley on the evils of " Baratarian " Government, 
one would think he must have had some sympathy with 
his correspondent. 

Before the end of March, it was rumoured in 
letters received from England, that Mr. Godley had 


tendered his resignation to the Association, and, in 
a letter dated May 25, and published in the settle 
nient's newspaper, he gave his reasons for resigning. 
Briefly expressed, these were, as might have been anti- 
cipated, that he had expected the Association to leave 
the local administration in his hands, and finding the 
Committee took a different view, he did not choose to 
be an instrument in carrying out plans of which he might 
or might not approve. The Committee's reply was 
written in a frank and reasonable spirit. It stated that 
it was the Association's intention "to apply during the 
present session of Parliament for an Act which shall 
transfer their functions to the Provincial Government 
about to be constituted," and concluded with an earnest 
request that he should continue to act as their agent in 
the meantime, a request which Mr. Godley felt it was 
impossible for him to refuse. Therefore the resignation 
was withdrawn, and Mr. Godley continued to act as agent 
for the Canterbury Association. 

As has been already seen, the New Zealand Govern- 
ment Bill passed on June 30, and at a meeting held in 
London on July 15, the Committee of the Association 
recommended that the functions of the Association should 
be transferred (under Clause 76 of the Act) to the 
colonists (the Provincial Council) ; that the colony 
should assume the liabilities of the Association on 
receiving a transfer of the Association's property; and 
that a suitable trust should be created for the manage- 
ment of the ecclesiastical and educational funds. The 
Canterbury Association was to pass out of active exist- 
ence, and its functions were to be handed on to the 
Canterbury Provincial Council as soon as that body 
should be elected. Mr. Godley, after declining an urgent 
requisition to become the first Superintendent of Canter- 
bury, sailed for England on December 21. In his fare- 
well speech, he admitted that his dream of a Church of 
England settlement had not altogether come true. "I 


often smile," he said, "when I think of the ideal Can- 
terbury of which our imagination dreamt, yet I see 
nothing in the dream to regret or to be ashamed of, and 
I am quite sure that without the enthusiasm, the poetry, 
the unreality if you will, with which our scheme was 
overlaid, it would never have been accomplished." " Be- 
sides," he added, " I am not at all sure that the reality, 
though less showy, is not in some respects sounder and 
better than the dream." Captain Simeon, who early in 
the year had been appointed a Resident Magistrate, suc- 
ceeded as agent for the Canterbury Association. 

Mr. J. R. Godley was, indeed, the founder of Canter- 
bury; it was he, almost single-handed, who formed the 
Canterbury Association in London. For the first two 
years of the settlement, he held the position, except in 
name, of Governor of Canterbury. Standing between 
the London Committee, supremely unconscious of its own 
ignorance of colonial affairs, on the one hand, and a 
justly indignant band of colonists on the other, Mr. 
Godley achieved the marvellous feat of retaining the 
confidence of both. Both, in fact, recognised the truth 
that the whole of Mr. Godley 's life here was devoted to 
the single-minded purpose of promoting the highest 
interests of Canterbury and of the settlers under his 
charge. An opportunity was afforded him on his return 
to England to emphasise the lessons he had learned here 
in colonial government. The occasion was a banquet 
tendered to him at Greenwich, and attended by many of 
the foremost British statesmen interested in colonial 
affairs. It is pleasant, incidentally, to note that his 
old Canterbury opponent, Mr. Thomas Cholmondoley, 
was amongst the men who assembled to do him honour. 

The following extract from Mr. Godley's speech is 
taken from the report in the "Morning Chronicle," of 
July 21, 1853:- 

" Many of you have the power of exercising, directly 
or indirectly, great influence in the affairs of British 


colonies. May I earnestly and solemnly impress upon 
them the one great fundamental maxim of sound colonial 
policy it is to let your colonies alone ; not chiefly 
because your interference will probably be of an injudi- 
cious kind in this or that particular matter, still less 
because it will be costly and troublesome to yourselves, 
but because it tends to spoil, corrupt and to degrade 
them, because they will never do anything or be fit for 
anything great so long as their chief political business is 
to complain of you, to fight with you, and to lean upon you ; 
so long as they consider you as responsible for their 
welfare, and can look to you for assistance in their diffi- 
culties. I protest quite as much against subsidies and 
subscriptions as against vetoes and restraints indeed, 
more, for the poison is more subtle, and the chance of 
resistance less. I want you neither to subsidise their 
treasuries nor support their clergy, nor to do their police 
duty with your soldiers, because they ought to do these 
things for themselves, and by your doing all you con- 
tribute to make them effeminate, degenerate and help- 
less. Do not be afraid to leave them to themselves; 
throw them into the water and they will swim. . . To 
this rule the Canterbury Colony is no exception. . Now 
it must go alone. It has been called into existence, it 
has been given its opportunities, it has been started on 
its way; henceforth it must work out its own destinies. 

" They (the members of the Canterbury Association) 
have done their w r ork a great and heroic work ; they 
have raised for themselves a noble monument; they have 
laid the foundations of a great and happy people." 

Air. Godley afterwards held the position of Commis- 
sioner of Income Tax, and later of Assistant Under- 
secretary for War. He died on November 17, 1861. 
The Provincial Council erected the statue to his memory 
which now stands facing the Cathedral. It was the 
work of an eminent sculptor, Mr. Woolner, and was 
unveiled on August 6, 1867, by Mr. C. C. Bowen, who 


had been intimately associated with Mr. Godley as his 
Private Secretary. The statue was presented by the 
Superintendent to the City Council of Christchurch in 
trust for the people of Canterbury, and bears the in- 




Arrival of Mr. H. Sewell, Agent of Canterbury Associa- 
tion Boundaries of Canterbury defined Land 
regulations Wakefield's sufficient price theory 
Election of Superintendent, of Members of Parlia- 
ment and of Provincial Council- Opening Sessions 
of Provincial Council Opening of first New Zea- 
land Parliament. 

Soon after Mr. Godley's departure from Canterbury 
Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield and Mr. Henry Sewell 
arrived in the "'Minerva," on February 2. It will be 
remembered that Mr. Godley had left Captain Simeon in 
temporary charge, as Agent of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion. Mr. Sewell was the officer appointed by the 
London Committee to wind up the affairs of the Associa- 
tion, and effect, if possible, their transfer to the Canter- 
bury Provincial Council as soon as that body should be 
constituted, and almost immediately on his arrival he 
became involved in a newspaper controversy in defence 
of the London Committee, his principal assailant being 
Mr. FitzGerald. The attackers emphasised the non- 
publication of accounts, and the defence took refuge in 
the official audit in London, and the promise of detailed 
accounts as soon as there should be a constituted 
authority (the Provincial Council) to receive them. The 
dispute was long and bitter, and in itself constituted a 
remarkable testimony to Mr. Godley's tact in avoiding 
an earlier explosion. Ultimately, on the publication of 
the accounts in London, with an auditor's "tag," 


objection was focussed on certain items of expenditure, 
but the criticism could have no practical effect until a 
Provincial Government had been elected. 

The New Zealand Constitution Act had been 
passed in England (June 30, 1852), and proclaimed in 
New Zealand (January 7, 1853). It remained for the 
Governor to put it in force by issuing writs for the 
election of a House of Representatives, Superintendents 
and Provincial Councils, and appointing members of a 
Legislative Council. 

The advent of representative government was con- 
sidered by some people to be a favourable opportunity 
to try to heal the breach which had gradually grown up 
between Sir George Grey and the Canterbury settlers, 
and with this well-meant object, an address to His 
Excellency the Governor was prepared, signed and for- 
warded. This document is worth quoting, not only on 
account of its delightful originality, but as illustrative 
of the antagonism which unfortunately was accentuated 
later in connection with the Land Regulations. 

"To His Excellency Sir George Grey, K.C.B., Gov- 
ernor-in-Chief of New Zealand, etc., etc. 

' We, the undersigned inhabitants of the Canterbury 
Settlement, beg to address your Excellency for the pur- 
pose of submitting to you certain apprehensions and 
anxious hopes which have been excited in our minds by 
reflection on the critical circumstances in which this 
colony is necessarily placed by the approaching intro- 
duction of a totally new form of government. 

" Having regard to the organised state of hostility 
between the executive and popular party, which has in- 
variably subsisted in colonies peopled by the British race 
so long as Representative Institutions were withheld 
from the colonists, and from which, of course, New Zea- 
land has not been exempt, we cannot help fearing that, 
as has happened on many like occasions, the important 


and most valuable public objects which the New Con- 
stitution is calculated to effect, may be seriously impeded, 
or even for a time entirely frustrated, by those mutual 
feelings of animosity and distrust which have arisen out 
of past collisions; and we pray of your Excellency to 
believe that it is our most earnest wish to see all past 
differences and angry party feelings buried in oblivion, 
to the end that your Excellency, as the Representative of 
the Crown, and those who enjoy the confidence of the 
people, may sincerely concur and co-operate, with a view 
to the future alone, in the task of carrying into effect the 
purposes of the Crown and the British Parliament, in 
bestowing upon the people of this country the inesti- 
mable boon of Provincial and General Representative 
Institutions. We are in hopes that these assurances 
may be acceptable to your Excellency, and that they 
may have some weight with the popular leaders in other 
parts of New Zealand, where the heats and animosities 
to which we have alluded have taken deeper root than 
amongst ourselves. 

"We could have wished that the inhabitants of the 
Canterbury Settlement were able to convey to your 
Excellency without delay some expression of our appre- 
hension and our desires, in the more weighty form of 
resolutions passed at public meetings ; and we have 
only resorted to the less eligible means of an address 
signed by those who may concur in its objects, in order 
not to lose the early opportunity of communication with 
Wellington which is afforded by the sailing of the 
' Minerva.' 

" We have the honour to be, Sir, 

' Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servants, 
"Canterbury, February 22, 1853." 

His Excellency's reply to this quaintly worded olive 
branch was sent to Captain Simeon, R.M., by the Civil 
Secretary, accompanied by a request that he would have 


the goodness to forward it to the gentlemen who signed 
the address. It ran as follows: 

"Civil Secretary's Office, 
" Wellington, 

"March 16, 1853. 
" Gentlemen, 

"I am directed by His Excellency Sir George Grey, to 
acknowledge the receipt of your address to His Excel- 
lency, and to assure you that you may rely upon His 
Excellency endeavouring by all the means within his 
power so to carry out the recent Act of Parliament as 
to give full effect to the purposes of the Crown and the 
Parliament, and to render it productive of happiness and 
contentment to the inhabitants of these islands. 
" I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, 
"Your most obedient, humble servant, 

" ALFRED DOMETT, Civil Secretary. 
" To the Gentlemen who signed the address." 

The "Gazette" of February 28, 1853, contained pre- 
liminary provisions for putting the Constitution Act 
into force. The boundaries of Canterbury were defined, 
and included Westland. There were to be thirty-seven 
members of the House of Representatives, of whom five 
were to be provided by Canterbury. There were to be 
twelve members of the Canterbury Provincial Council, 
distributed among four electorates, namely, Lyttelton, 
three members; Christchurch town, three members; 
Christchurch country, four members, and Akaroa, two 
members. In the same " Gazette," in which the 
foundation was laid for representative government there 
also appeared certain Land Regulations. Under them 
rural land was to be sold at 10/- per acre (or even 5/- if 
certified to by a Land Commissioner as not worth that 
sum), and it was specially provided that "Government 
Scrip" might be used for the purchase of land. Land 
reserved for the Canterbury and Otago Associations was 


excepted from the operations of these regulations. It 
should be explained that Government Scrip had been 
issued to those holders of the New Zealand Company's 
land orders who (like the brothers Deans) had been 
unable to obtain possession of their allotments. This 
had not been an uncommon occurrence, owing to diffi- 
culties of access or the hostility of the natives, and at 
the time of these regulations, Government Scrip was 
being sold at a substantial discount. The Governor's 
authority for making the regulations was derived from 
a proviso in Clause 72 of the Constitution Act, which 
authorised Her Majesty until the General Assembly 
should enact otherwise, to regulate the sale, letting and 
disposal of waste lands, by instructions issued under the 
signet and Royal sign manual. It is obvious that by 
the Constitution Act the British Parliament intended 
to hand over the control of the waste lands to a repre- 
sentative government in New Zealand, and that this 
proviso was inserted only to carry over the interregnum 
pending the establishment of self-government. It is 
even doubtful whether, in the absence of the Royal In- 
structions, Sir George Grey possessed the authority he 
sought to exercise. 

Mr. Henry Sewell, who happened to hear of the pro- 
posed regulations before they were gazetted, respectfully 
protested against them as being illegal, and received a 
reply that his letter would be submitted to the Law 
Officers of the Crown. It appeared from subsequent 
correspondence that the Attorney-General, Mr. D. Wake- 
field, at any rate, was not consulted. He, in fact, 
resigned his position on April 9, following, on account 
of his disagreement with His Excellency's land regula- 
tions. Some of the correspondence that ensued is most 
illuminative, such for instance, as the following passage 
from Mr. Wakefield's letter of May 14, 1853 (after his 
resignation had been accepted) : 

"I declare that I did not 'advise the issue of the 


Proclamation as legal.' Your Excellency knows that 
my deliberative opinion on that subject was never re- 
quired. I felt that if it had been offered unasked, and 
had been adverse to the policy of the Government, I 
should have only incurred the mortification of seeing it 
disregarded, and the discomfort of being considered 
officious. I only refer to a fact more than notorious, to 
what is in this colony a truism or understood matter of 
course, in saying that no responsibility ever weighed on 
the officers of your Government." 

Action was taken in the Law Courts really at the 
instigation of Mr. H. Sewell against the regulations 
(Dorset v. Bell), and an injunction obtained. Mean- 
while, with indecent haste and inadequate notice, lands 
were offered for application, for which no proper plans 
were available. It must not be supposed that because 
the lands reserved for the Canterbury and Otago Associa- 
tions were exempted from the operation of the regulations 
that therefore Canterbury was not affected. It was 
manifestly impossible for the Canterbury Association or 
the Provincial Council to sell land at 3 per acre when 
similar land just outside their boundary was offered at 
10/- an acre or even less. 

It has been necessary to explain the land regulations 
in some detail, because the election of the first Canter- 
bury Superintendent largely turned on the land question. 
The Canterbury Association, whatever its shortcomings 
in other respects, could have claimed that it had sold no 
land to speculators, and very little to absentees, and that 
it had not parted with the freehold of any big estates. 
The question before the country in 1853 was not lease- 
hold v. freehold, but cheap or dear land. The dear land 
policy of the Canterbury Association was based on Mr. 
E. G. Wakefield's "sufficient price" theory, by which 
was meant that the price of land should be high enough 
to provide for the cost of surveys, roads, bridges and 
other purposes (in the case of the Canterbury Association. 


for emigration, education and religion). In support it 
was contended that the "sufficient price" would ensure 
the effective occupation of all land sold, and protect 
the community from purchases by land jobbers or 
speculators, who might otherwise block settlement till 
they could obtain a profit from unearned increment. The 
effect of the dear land system would thus be to conserve 
the national estate for bona fide settlement later on. The 
cheap land party appealed to the working classes. They 
claimed that their object was to enable the working man 
to acquire his own farm, and that those who advocated 
high prices did so to prevent the workers from settling 
on the land, and to maintain the supply of labour they 
required. There was at the time a great scarcity of 
labour in Christchurch, and the importation of Chinese 
had been publicly urged. 

Time supplied the answer. It was under Sir George 
Grey's land regulations that the purchase of Cheviot 
and other large estates at 10/- per acre, some of them 
paid for with Government Scrip, bought at a discount, 
became possible. 

Meanwhile, at the election of Superintendent, the cry 
was somehow raised that cheap land meant cheap bread, 
so that big and little loaf figured in the campaign much 
as they did many years afterwards in Chamberlain's 
fight for Tariff Reform. There were three candidates 
for the Superintendency : Mr. J. E. FitzGerald and 
Mr. Henry J. Tancred, who split the vote of the dear land 
party, and Colonel Campbell, a protege of Sir George 
Grey's, who held the office of Land Commissioner, as the 
champion of cheap land. Mr. FitzGerald was elected, the 
poll (Wednesday, July 20, 1853) resulting as follows: 
FitzGerald, 135; Colonel Campbell, 94; Tancred, 89. 

Early in June, the accounts of the Canterbury Asso- 
ciation, made up to November 13, 1852, which had been 
warmly criticised in the London "Times," were published 
in the colony. These showed a deficiency on emigration 


account, and on the roads, surveys and bridges account, 
of about 11,000 each, and a surplus on the church and 
education account of over 10,000, which had been used 
to purchase endowment lands. There was also a 

liability (partly disputed) originally to the New Zealand 
Company, but which had now reverted to the Home 
Government. Land sales having almost ceased, the 
Association had no funds to meet this liability, and the 
Government accordingly foreclosed, and the waste lands 
were placed at the disposal of Sir George Grey. The 
Governor, however, did not in this case, throw them 
open at 10/- per acre, but (June 9, 1853) entrusted Mr. 
W. G. Brittan with power to sell the Canterbury Associa- 
tion lands under regulations established by the Canter- 
bury Association. The following month Captain Simeon 
resigned his position as Agent of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion, and Mr. Sewell became its sole representative. 

Then came the first Canterbury General Election, the 
polling taking place at various dates between August 
20 and September 10. The five Canterbury seats in 
the House of Representatives were filled as follows : 
J. E. FitzGerald for Lyttelton, Henry Sewell for Christ- 
church, Stuart Wortley and Edward Jerningham Wake- 
field for Christchurch country districts, William Scfton 
Moorhouse for Akaroa. Mr. W. G. Brittan, who stood 
for Christchurch country districts, was the only prominent 
man defeated. 

The Provincial Council elections resulted in the 
return of J. T. Cookson, W. J. W. Hamilton, C. E. 
Dampier, for Lyttelton; T. Cass, S. Bealey, R. Packer, 
for Christchurch town; Charles Simeon, Henry Tancred, 
John Hall, Charles Bowen, for Christchurch country dis- 
tricts; R. H. Rhodes, Reverend W. Alymer, for 
Akaroa. (The latter tied with Mr. W. S. Moorhouse, 
and was elected on the casting vote of the Returning- 

The first New Zealand Parliament did not meet until 


nearly nine months after the election. By that time, 
Sir George Grey, who must be held responsible for the 
delay, had left New Zealand. 

The Canterbury Provincial Council was called to- 
gether more promptly, and met for the first time on 
September 27, 1853. The session was opened by His 
Honor Superintendent FitzGerald, with an address 
fitted to the importance of the occasion one which 
could "occur but once in the life of an individual, or 
the history of a people." He briefly surveyed the his- 
tory of the settlement. "Three years have not yet 
elapsed since the first body of settlers landed on these 
shores, and I think it may be asserted that rarely, if ever, 
has so much real work been done by so small a body in so 
short a time ; that never has any settlement been founded 
with so much success and so little disaster to those who 
formed the forlorn hope of the enterprise." After paying 
a glowing tribute to Mr. Godley, the Superintendent 
outlined the functions and powers of the Provincial 
Government, expressed his intention of governing with 
the aid of an Executive Council, and explained the 
financial relations between the General and Provincial 
Governments, as arranged by His Excellency the Gover- 
nor, " pending any law which may be made upon the 
subject by the General Assembly." He referred briefly 
to the affairs of the Canterbury Association, but post- 
poned discussion until the arrival of the accounts from 
London should enable Mr. Sewell, the Agent of the 
Association, to make some definite proposal. 

The remarks of the Superintendent on religion are 
interesting as illustrating how far the settlement had 
already departed from the original intention of its 
founders. Mr. FitzGerald held that while maintaining 
an ' ' attitude of absolute indifference to all religious 
communities," the State might, and should, grant legis- 
lation to enable any such community to manage its own 
affairs, and that, therefore, the Church of England was 


entitled to ask for the appointment of trustees to admin- 
ister the property specially set apart for its use, and 
still held in trust by the Canterbury Association. The 
subject of education called for special attention, as it 
was proposed to ask the Council to pass a Bill incor- 
porating Christ's College, and vesting it with the control 
of the Educational Endowment. 

Mr. FitzGerald considered that the State had grave 
responsibilities in connection with education, and that 
the funds for this purpose should be raised by taxation 
in the future. The College, for which the Canterbury 
Association had set aside endowments, would benefit the 
whole community by providing highly trained instructors- 
for the public schools. 

Among the subjects that engaged the attention of 
members during the first session, that of the "Waste 
Lands " of the province was the most important. Under 
the Constitution Act these were to be handed over to 
the control of the General Government, but it was hoped 
and urged that Parliament would delegate this control 
to the Provincial Councils, as being in closer touch with 
local requirements. Addresses to His Excellency the 
Governor, and to Parliament (when it should be called 
together), urging this course, were agreed to. Strong 
exception was taken to the omission of Sir George 
Grey from calling Parliament together, and the legality 
of his continuing to raise revenue without Parliamentary 
sanction was questioned. On November 9 the Provincial 
Council passed a series of resolutions on the subject, 
from which the first two may be quoted : 

(1) That in the opinion of this Council, all appropria- 
tion of revenue of the colony prior to the meeting of 
the General Assembly, is a violation of the spirit and 
intent of the Constitution Act. 

(2) That until a meeting of the General Assembly 
shall have taken place or until further information shall 
have been laid before them, the Council will abstain from 


passing any law for the appropriation of the public 

These resolutions were followed up with an address 
to the Governor, which w r as carried on November 23, in 
which His Excellency's delay in convening the General 
Assembly was strongly censured, as entirely prostrating 
the designs of the Imperial Government ; and it was 
further contended "that many of the powers exercised 
by the Executive Government will, in the absence of the 
sanction of the General Legislature, be exercised in an 
illegal and unconstitutional manner." With this part- 
ing shot, the Council was prorogued on Thursday, Novem- 
ber 24, till February 15 of the following year. 

During the ensuing session (February 15 to April 3), 
regulations dealing with the terms of purchase and 
pasturage for the waste lands of the Crown within the 
Province of Canterbury, fixing the price at 2 per acre, 
were prepared and passed. These regulations could, of 
course, have no effect unless accepted by the General 
Government, in which the absolute power was still 
vested, but it was hoped and expected that they would 
be used by the Canterbury members as indicating the 
wishes of the Province. The regulations were published 
in the " Lyttelton Times" of March 4, and in the same 
issue the announcement was made of the purchase (but 
outside of the Canterbury block), of 40,000 acres, after- 
wards known as the Glenmark Estate, by Mr. Moore on 
behalf of his brother-in-law, Mr. Kermode, at 10/- per 
acre. The actual cash paid was only 14,000, as part 
only of the land was bought at 10/- per acre, and the 
remainder on a deposit of 5/- per acre, to go through 
the form of an auction afterwards. 

It may be added that thanks to the energy of two 
of the Canterbury representatives, Mr. FitzGerald and 
Mr. Sewell, both of whom took very prominent parts 
in the first New Zealand Parliament, the Govern- 
ment passed a Bill giving control to the various 


Provincial Councils over their own waste lands one- 
half, however, of the proceeds of these sales was to be 
handed over to the General Government. A Bill was 
also put through appointing trustees to manage the 
ecclesiastical property held in trust by the Canterbury 

Meanwhile, Sir George Grey had, on December 31, 
1853, left New Zealand, and Lieut. -Colonel Robert Henry 
Wynyard, as senior military officer, took the oath on 
January 3, 1854, as Administrator; a somewhat ano- 
malous position for a gentleman who had represented 
Auckland as its Superintendent. Colonel Wynyard 
summoned the General Assembly to meet in Auckland 
on May 24, probably as early a date as was possible, tak- 
ing into consideration the difficulties of communication. 

In his speech on the opening of the first New Zealand 
Parliament, the Governor confessed to some natural hesi- 
tation about calling Parliament together, he was "hold- 
ing office but temporarily," and " bound not to embark 
in any measure which may embarrass the policy or affect 
the duties of the permanent Governor of the country." 
"But," he added, "possessing the necessary legal 
authority, and seeing that Her Majesty's subjects in New 
Zealand have a right to the exercise of the powers con- 
ferred upon them by the British Parliament, I felt that 
I ought not to allow considerations personal to myself 
to disappoint their expectations, and to delay them in- 

The concluding paragraph seems to cast a curious 
reflection on the neglect of the late Governor to calf 
Parliament together. 



"They with the desert won the strife, 
They sowed the seed of social life, 

Whose stately tree we view. 
Oh, flout them not in careless tones, 
Who laid our State's foundation stones, 

And laid them deep and true." 


The early days of Provincial Government presented 
some interesting constitutional problems which may more 
conveniently be discussed in this chapter, as it is not 
proposed to follow in detail the later proceedings of the 
Council except in so far as they have a direct hearing on 
the story of the city of Christchurch. 

The Superintendent, in opening the first session of 
the Provincial Council, had announced his intention to 
appoint the members of his Executive ; that much was 
clear. Could he also dismiss them? Who was to be 
responsible for policy, the Superintendent or the mem- 
bers of the Executive? If the Superintendent and the 
members of Executive agreed upon a policy which proved 
unacceptable to a majority in the Provincial Council, 
what was to be done? Even if new Ministers whose policy 
was in accordance with that of the Legislature, were 
appointed, nothing could be done as long as the Super- 
intendent chose to exercise his right of veto, and there 
seemed no reason why he should not exercise it. He 
was elected by the people just as much as the members of 
the Provincial Council were. Therein his position 




differed from that of the King in relation to the British 
Parliament, or from that of a constitutional Governor 
of the colony towards the House of Representatives. 
Then, if the Superintendent was to be responsible for 
his policy, it was a serious hardship that he should not 
have a seat on the floor of the Council, and be able to 
defend his measure personally, instead of having to 
depend upon an Executive, which possibly did not sup- 
port him whole-heartedly. This disadvantage was felt 
severely by several of the Superintendents, notably by 
Mr. Rolleston, who made strenuous, but unsuccessful, 
efforts to obtain an alteration in the Constitution en- 
abling the Superintendent to take a seat in the Council. 

There were at first, no ''parties" in the Provincial 
Council, as the term is understood to-day, but oddly 
enough, that did not prevent a rapid succession of minis- 
terial crises involving constant changes in the personnel 
of the Executive. Some of these atmospheric disturb- 
ances were quite amusing, and a few instances will 
illustrate difficulties which arose at the beginning of 
representative Government in Canterbury. 

Mr. Henry John Tancred had been appointed head 
of the first Executive, and in the following year, the 
Provincial Council was summoned to meet on October 10 
(1854). Mr. FitzGerald, delayed by Parliamentary 
duties, was unable to be present at the opening. A mes- 
sage from him was, however, read, in which he referred 
to three important questions which would require the 
immediate attention of the Provincial Council, viz., the 
Waste Lands Bill, the affairs of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion, and the enlargement of the Provincial Council 
itself. The latter was an important proposal involving 
a.n alteration in the existing electorates, and would 
necessitate a fresh election of the Council. Obviously, 
such a measure required the most careful consideration 
by the Superintendent and his ^Executive ; to ensure such 
consideration, it was the intention of the Executive that 


the Council should proceed with routine business, and 
then adjourn until the Government, after consultation with 
His Honor the Superintendent, had had time to prepare 
its policy measures. A committee was set up to con- 
sider the affairs of the Canterbury Association. Then 
a very curious thing happened. Mr. Packer gave notice 
to move on the following day the suspension of the 
Standing Orders, to enable the House to consider a 
short Bill, having for its object the enlargement of the 
Council. Next day, the motion was carried, and the 
Bill read a first and second time. A day later it went 
through its further stage and was passed. Briefly 
expressed, the position was as follows : The Government 
had announced its intention of bringing down a policy 
measure of paramount importance to the Council, involv- 
ing no less than the reform of its own Constitution. 
Nevertheless, the Council agreed to suspend its Standing 
Orders to enable a private member to forestall the Gov- 
ernment by passing his own Bill. No wonder one of the 
members entered a mild protest that, in his opinion, the 
Bill was being passed with very unseemly haste, and no 
wonder too, that Mr. Tancred and his Executive declined 
to accept the assurance offered by those who had sup- 
ported the Bill that they had meant no harm to the 
Government. The matter was treated as a vote of 
censure, and the Government resigned. 

Mr. John Hall was invited by the Superintendent to 
form the new Executive Council, and was able on October 
31, to announce that he had succeeded. Associated with 
him were Mr. Bealey, Mr. Gouland (Provincial Secre- 
tary), and Mr. Gresson (afterwards His Honor Mr. 
Justice Gresson), a recent arrival from. Ireland. Mem- 
bership of the Provincial Council was not then a neces- 
sary qualification for office, and neither of the last two 
gentlemen mentioned was a member. The new Executive 
shortly afterwards introduced and passed a fresh 




PLATE 12. 


Provincial Council Extension Bill, providing for seven 
electorates returning twenty-four members. 

Mr. Hall only held office for about seven months. 
His resignation was due to the steady refusal of the 
Council to pass his Bills. The odd thing was that the 
Council did not want Mr. Hall to resign, and offered, if 
he would remain in office, to pass a vote of confidence in 
his Government. This somewhat empty compliment did 
not satisfy Mr. Hall, and he resigned early in May, 1855. 
His successor was Mr. Joseph Brittan, who, in accepting 
office, definitely declined to take any ministerial res- 
ponsibility. The Council agreed to this arrangement, 
and by resolution affirmed an important principle: " That 
in consequence of the elective and responsible office of 
the Superintendent, the head of the Council, it is the 
opinion of this Council that the members of the Govern- 
ment in this Council should not be expected to resign 
their office except after a distinct vote of want-of-con- 
fidence by a majority of the whole Council." This resolu- 
tion was, in later years, the cause of much friction 
between Mr. Rolleston and his Executive. 

In November of the following year, 1856, another 
ministerial crisis occurred, in connection with the vexed 
question of communication between the city and the port. 
Opinion was, at that time, divided between the adherents 
of the Sumner Road and those of the Bridle Track, and 
Mr. Brittan introduced a Bill setting aside 25,000 acres 
of Crown Land to be sold at 1 per acre, the proceeds 
to be used to construct a horse tramway from Christ- 
church to Lyttelton, via Sumner. The opponents of 
this measure argued, with considerable justice, that such 
a departure from the recently adjusted land regulations, 
which had fixed the price of land at 2 per acre, would 
destroy confidence in the permanency of land prices, and 
prevent purchasers coming forward. The Bill was 
defeated, and the Government seems to have accepted 
the decision of the Council in a philosophic spirit. But 


when a few days later, Mr. John Ollivier brought forward 
and carried a motion asking the Superintendent to place 
3,000 on the estimates, to be spent on the Bridle Track 
between Lyttelton and Heathcote, instead of the Sumner 
lload, the Ministers resigned. Mr. Ollivier was asked 
by the Superintendent to form u Ministry, but he de- 
clined, and, after a short adjournment, Mr. Brittan 
announced that he and his colleagues had decided to 
retain office . A few days later, a series of Government 
motions, practically rescinding Mr. Ollivier 's resolution, 
were carried by narrow majorities, and the crisis was at 
an end. 

Many changes of Executive took place in the ensuing 
years, most of them over trivial questions. The inability 
of the province to secure a really stable Administration 
is indicated in the long list of Provincial Ministries in the 
Appendix of this volume. 

Mr. W. P. Reeves, in his " Ball in the Old Provincial 
Council Chamber," from which the stanza at the head 
of the chapter is taken, has, in a few happy lines, caught 
the "atmosphere" of the time: 

" And there were crises in the fray 
As witness the terrific day 

Ot " Chaos and old Knight," 
When, amid wonder, fear and fret, 
The great Ten Minutes' Cabinet 

Saw, and resigned, the light. 

How small it all was 'tis confessed, 
Policies, parties and the rest, 

Laugh an' it pleases you. 
Yet are we now, we numerous men. 
Greater indeed, with tongue or pen. 

Than they who were so few ? 

# * * * * 

Were Sewell, Jollie, Wilson, Hall, 
Montgomery and Tancred all 
So poor, so weak a band?" 

The three instances cited above present distinctive 


features, but they all arose from the same cause, namely 
a disagreement between the Executive and the outside 
members of the Council. It was in Mr. Kolleston's 
time as Superintendent that ' ' the crisis in the fray ' ' 
assumed a new shape. 

Mr. Rolleston, who was elected in 1868, was a man of 
strong personality perhaps somewhat obstinate and 
he had no idea of being dominated by his Executive. 
He was ambitious to have a seat on the floor of the 
Council, so that he could take his own part in the rough 
and tumble, as he was well fitted to do, and in 1869 lie 
actually proposed to become a candidate for one of the 
Christchurch seats which chanced to be vacant, and very 
reluctantly gave way to the protest which was made on 
constitutional grounds. Defeated in his first attempt, 
he returned to the charge by sending a message to the 
Council, June 4, 1869, that he intended to ask the 
General Assembly for legislation enabling him to sit in 
the Provincial Council ex officio. The Council replied 
with a resolution "that the business of the Council and 
country should be conducted as heretofore until the 
Council shall have agreed to some modified form of 

In the following year (November, 1870), there was a 
distinct breach between the Superintendent and his Ex- 
ecutive. The actual question at issue was unimportant, 
relating to an item charged for interest by the Bank of 
New Zealand, but the principle involved was whether the 
Superintendent or the Executive should be responsible 
for the policy of the Government. The Executive had 
the support of the Council, but the Superintendent sur- 
mounted this little difficulty by declining to call the 
Council together, even when requested to do so in an 
address signed by a majority of the members of that 
body. This deadlock went on for many months, until, 
owing to the unexpected postponement of the meeting 
of the General Assembly, Mr. Rolleston found himself 


obliged, by regard for public convenience, to summon 
the Provincial Council, July 14, 1871. Then, indeed, 
the Executive got its way, and the Bank of New Zealand 
dispute was referred to a committee. 

The Provincial Council continued in existence until 
the abolition of the provinces in 1876, Mr. Kolleston 
remaining in office till that date, and being the last 
Superintendent of Canterbury. 

The opening session was held in a small house in 
Chester Street west, near the river, which had been the 
office of the short-lived "Guardian" newspaper. A 
description of this meeting-place had been left on record 
by Mr. Henry Sewell. "The externals are shabby in 
the extreme a low, desolate looking wooden tenement, 
all by itself in a potato garden, a quarter of a mile at 
least from the inhabited part of the town, approached on 
an open trackless common covered with fern and tus- 
sock grass, barely passable in dry weather, and miserable 
in wet. The interior has been disguised neatly enough, 
but in a flimsy way, with canvas papered oak pattern f 
scarlet moreen covering the seats, which are of iron 
hardness. A respectable, dignified chair for the Speaker 
such as one sees in Masonic halls, a plain table, covered 
with papers, at which the clerk sits in front of the 
Speaker, with the English Statutes ranged imposingly 
in front, so as to give a Legislative look to the place. A 
side partition shuts off the public, and there is a small 
space at the end of the room for the Bar." (Press?) 

In 1857, the Council changed its quarters to a house 
in Oxford Terrace, previously occupied by Mr. W. G. 
Brittan. This house was afterwards converted into an 
hotel. Again, in 1858, the Council held a session in the 
Town Hall (on the present site of Messrs. Strange and 
Co.'s premises), which had been recently erected. 

It was not till September 29, 1859, that the Council 
met in a chamber of its own that which is now known 
as the Land Room in the Provincial Council Buildings 


PLATE 13. 


a handsome chamber with an oriel window overlooking 
the Avon. 

The site of the Provincial Council Buildings had 
originally been reserved for a hospital, but had been 
appropriated by the Council, November 8, 1854, for its 
own use, and the sum of 2,000 voted at the same time 
for a building. The foundation stone was laid by Super- 
intendent Moorhouse on January 6, 1858, Messrs. Mount- 
fort and Luck being the architects. 

Later on, the increased membership of the Council 
necessitated larger accommodation, and on November 21, 
1865, the Council met for the first time in the present 
Provincial Council Chamber, admittedly one of the most 
beautiful pieces of architecture in New Zealand. In 
selecting the material for its construction, the resources 
of the whole province were drawn on; the bluestone 
columns came from Mr. Ellis' quarry at Hoon Hay; the 
walls were rubble from Mr. W. G. Brittan's quarry at 
Halswell ; the interior of the upper walls was freestone 
from Governor's Bay; the mantelpieces were cream 
coloured limestone from Weka Pass ; and the screen 
below the public gallery was a combination of the AVeka 
Pass limestone with freestone from Mr. Cracroft 
Wilson's quarry at Cashmere. In later years, after the 
abolition of Provincial Government, the citizens of 
Christchurch have often approached the Government in 
the hope tHat this building, with the other buildings 
which surround it, might be vested in the city, and 
become the home of the Municipal Government. 

For further information about the Canterbury Provincial 
Council the reader is referred to the Appendix, where will be found 
li$>ts of successive Superintendents, Deputy-Superintendents, 
Speakers and Executive Ministries. 



These were not only the young days of the settlement, 
but were also the young days of most of the settlers, who 
had come out with their life's work before them. Even 
the leaders were not old; Sir George Grey, when he 
welcomed the Canterbury Pilgrims, was in his thirty- 
ninth year ; Mr. Godley was thirty-six ; Bishop Selwyn 
forty-one; Mr. FitzGerald was under thirty when he 
became Superintendent ; Sir Charles Bowen was only 
twenty-four when he became Provincial Treasurer. Ac- 
cording to a census taken in March, 1857, there were 6,230 
persons in Canterbury, of whom 5,577 were under forty 
years of age, and only forty-two over sixty -years old. 
By way of comparison, it may be noted that out of a 
similar number to-day, there would be about 400 persons 
of sixty years or over. 

Naturally, in a community consisting almost entirely 
of young people, there was a greater freedom of social 
intercourse life was brighter and friendships more easily 

Among the various records of those days, one of the 
most graphic is the unpublished diary of Mr. Henry 
Sewell, covering the period 1853-1856 ; it was intended 
to be read by the members of the writer's family in 
England, and to take the place of letters. Writing for 
so intimate a circle, Mr. Sewell allowed himself a frank- 
ness of expression in describing his friends and acquaint- 
ances which might cause offence, and the diary was 
therefore left by him to be held in trust by the Bishop 


of Christchurch for the time being. It is through the 
courtesy of Bishop Julius that the author has been 
privileged to read it and to make use of some of the 
good material with which it abounds. 

Christchurch, when Mr. Sewell landed in February, 
1853, was an odd straggling place, with small wooden 
buildings dotted about, and a few gardens enclosed 
by rough palings. Mr. Sewell found it entirely 

unattractive, though assured by its inhabitants that, like 
olives, it improved on further acquaintance. The most 
striking feature was its lack of trees, not one tree being 
in sight nearer than the Riccarton Bush. The town 
was, in fact, so open that everyone could see what every- 
one else was doing at any hour of the day. 

Christchurch and Lyttelton were then rivals, and Mr. 
SewelFs anticipation was that Lyttelton, as the port 
and centre of distribution, would become the chief city. 
He did not give pride of place to Christchurch even on 
the plains, believing that a more important town would 
grow up at Kaiapoi, and possibly another in the Elles- 
mere district, within easy reach of Lyttelton by way of 
the low saddle at the head of Gebbie's Valley. 

Mr. Sewell experienced a great deal of bad weather 
on his arrival, and his early diary is full of ravings 
against the climate. " Oh, this New Zealand climate 
this South of France with Italian skies. I am told that 
the present season is exceptional so it was last year, 
perhaps it will be the same next; speak as you find it, 
is my motto." The climate has changed since then 
under the influence of plantations and the cultivation 
of the plains. Those were the days of the old-fashioned 
sou'-westers, when the track between Lyttelton and 
Christchurch became impassable. However, in later 
entries, Mr. Sewell retracted a good deal of his criticism. 

A feature of New Zealand life in those days was the 
scarcity of labour. The Victorian gold diggings had 
just been discovered, and it was very little use bringing 


emigrants to Canterbury, for Lyttelton often proved to 
be a sort of roundabout way to the diggings. Ship- 
masters had great difficulty in keeping their crews. 
The labour problem became so serious that there was 
even talk of importing Chinese coolies. The early 
settler had to do his own work, while his women folk 
cooked the dinner and scrubbed the floor. 

Some fine stories are told about the feats performed 
by the pioneers. Mr. Marmaduke Dixon dug a well 
eighty feet deep, with his own hands. He rigged up 
a windlass and a bucket on a rope, and when he had 
filled the bucket, he climbed out of the well and pulled 
the bucket up after him. Think of the labour! But 
his section at West Eyreton was waterless, and he had 
to get water. Then there is the story of Mr. John 
Studholme, who walked, with his brother, all the way 
to Dunedin to buy cattle. One can imagine what that 
meant across the unbridged rivers and trackless plains. 
But when he got to Dunedin, the cattleman would not 
take his cheque, there being no Bank in Otago, so, 
after tossing up with his brother which should go, he 
shouldered his swag and walked back, cashed his cheque 
at Lyttelton, and tramped to Dunedin a second time with 
the money. This was in 1853, and was one of the first 
overland trips made between the two places. Mr. John 
Anderson, who came out in the "Sir George Seymour," 
established a blacksmith's shop at "The Bricks," and 
after his day's work was done, often walked in to 
Lyttelton to bring back the iron he needed for the next 
day's work. 

Another effect of the diggings in Victoria was to 
raise the price of all foodstuffs. Mr. Sewell tells how 
in May, 1853, the flour ex "Hampshire" sold at 70 
a ton. His diary is full of references to the cost of 
living. " In truth, the expense of living is about double 
that of London, with one-fourth part of the comfort," he 
said, in a characteristic passage. "People with fixed 


incomes had better stay at Home. Nothing but going 
into some colonial line, sheep-farming, merchandising, 
etc., can make the colony pay as a residence. I who 
am condemned from such profitable pursuits by many 
causes, have no means of balancing the account. Fire- 
wood (there is no coal) costs now at cheapest 30/- a 
cord, and a cord is equal to about one-third of a ton of 
coals. Think of coals at 4 10s. a ton! But then 
during the winter, we paid 2 a cord. Next winter I 
expect it will be 4 a cord, and I am laying in a stock 
in time. Butter 1/6 a Ib. ; in the winter it was 2/-. 
Eggs 2d. and 3d. apiece. Vegetables to us who have 
no garden, and cannot afford one, paying 6/- a day for 
labour, are almost mythical and fabulous things. We 
had new potatoes and green peas for a rarity for our 
Christmas dinner, but the potatoes were 2d. a Ib., and 
the peas 2/- a peck. The economy of a colony consists 
in doing without things. Butchers' meat is about 8d. 
a Ib., but inferior in quality and sometimes not pro- 
curable at all. Nobody engaged in colonial pursuits 
cares about these things, for their profits (made out of 
these enormous prices) are in proportion." 

"I think I must retract a good deal of my abuse of 
the climate. We have certainly had some charming 
weather lately, and the alternations of rain are really a 
relief. I can imagine fifty years hence the place being 
really agreeable and preferable for residence, but it is 
a great and long hill to climb before it attains real civil- 
isation." Again on October 24, he wrote, "The price 
of everything is prodigious stock is high and rising 
sheep up to two guineas a piece ; cattle 15 a head ; 
horses an incredible price nothing rideable under 60 
or 70. My opinion is that the tendency will be up- 
ward. I see no chance of a fall. Australian gold will 
go on : population will increase ; mouths to be fed will 

Not only were stock and provisions dear, but many of 


the ordinary accessories of civilisation were often un- 
procurable the shops kept little stock, and settlers had 
to do their shopping from tramp vessels from Sydney. 
Mr. Sewell described one of these ships, the "Mountain 
Maid," " a sort of maritime peddler's shop. Her arrival 
in these parts is like that of a travelling peddler in a 
country village a hundred years ago. She brings 
down goods of all kinds from Sydney, and sells them at 
an exorbitant price, 150 per cent, above London prices 
linens, prints, boots, shoes, tea and sugar, wine and 
spirits, candles and groceries, kettles, pots, pans, etc. ; 
one is obliged to lay in a store, not knowing when one's 
next chance may be." 

Several of the city's present business houses started 
in those days. Mr. John Anderson, as mentioned above, 
opened a blacksmith's shop at "The Bricks," but soon 
afterwards purchased the present site of Anderson's 
Foundry. Mr. W. D. Wood, another pilgrim who 
arrived in the "Randolph," built a flour mill in Wind- 
mill Road in 1856, and in 1860 established the mill on 
the Avon near Riccarton. Dunstable House, now Bal- 
lantyne and Co., was started by Mrs. Clarkson in 1854, 
and Mr. E. Recce's ironmongery establishment was 
opened two years later. 

By December, 1854, the big rush to the diggings 
was over, and disappointed diggers were beginning to 
arrive in Lyttelton seeking work. This was the opening 
of a new era in Canterbury. Hitherto there had been 
a general acquaintance amongst the settlers, and a 
freemasonry which was very pleasant; hospitality had 
been unbounded, people stayed by storm were taken in 
as a matter of course. Most of the inhabitants of 
Canterbury up to that time were people carefully selected 
at Home by the Canterbury Association in the first 
place, and by the Canterbury Immigration agent after- 
wards, the later arrivals being often the relations or 
friends of the early pilgrims. 


There were too, a few pioneers like the Deans and 
Rhodes men of enterprise and resource, or they would 
not have been there, Nature's own selection of strong 
hands for an advance guard. Also a few Australian 
squatters who brought valuable experience to aid the 
newly landed settlers in the practical work of coloniza- 
tion. Altogether in the early fifties, the community 
was a united family; the members rendering each 
other mutual assistance, and always ready to give a hand 
to help a new-comer. The arrival of a party of disap- 
pointed diggers from Melbourne was the first wave of a 
new stream of emigration, which gradually altered the 
characteristics of the settlement. The diggers were 
rolling stones, rough, adventurous men from all parts 
of the world. 

One great trouble to the early settlers was the lack 
of fencing. In 1854, out of 4,000,000 acres in Canter- 
bury, only 7,000 acres were fenced, and the result was 
that cattle of all sorts strayed at large. The many 
Cattle Trespass Bills of the Provincial Council bore wit- 
ness to the extent of the trouble. 

About this time, there appeared in a Wellington news- 
paper, an amusing series of pen portraits of the members 
of the House of Representatives ; in one of them, des- 
cribing Mr. John Hall, it was said that he had a curious 
habit when speaking of constantly rising on tiptoe. 
The writer went on to say that he had noticed the same 
peculiarity in other Canterbury members, and hazarded 
the conjecture that it arose through the flatness of the 
Canterbury Plains, and the consequent necessity of a 
strained attitude when looking for sheep amongst the 

Another story from Mr. SewelFs diary is worth tell- 
ing, as illustrating both the cattle trespass difficulty, and 
the general life of the period : 

Mrs. Sewell had a mule lent to her, "a quiet, res- 
pectable animal, safe for a lady to ride." The mule 


was given in charge to " a young gentleman of colonial 
turn of mind " to take it over the hill to Lyttelton, where 
the Sewells were living. "He was specially instructed 
to leave the animal in Port, and he brought it in duly 
enough; but having done so, he felt himself at liberty 
to take it back with him to Christchurch on his own 
account. They do these things in a colony. It is part 
of the pleasant free and easy way of going on." The 
mule was ultimately delivered, but when wanted for use 
a few days afterwards ' ' it had vanished again ! It 
had been seen among the hills over in Mr. Cookson's 
valley was likely to be gone to Riccarton, might be oft' 
to Motunau in short, was anywhere or nowhere." The 
offer of a reward caused the mule to be brought back, 
but only to escape again next morning, when it was seen 
going full gallop over the hill. " This sort of thing 
also is colonial habit animals always stray away. Mr. 
Allen, the clergymen, declares that every third person 
he met asked him whether he had seen that bullock, or 
that mare, or that cow, or some erratic beast whence 
he included as an interesting statistical fact .that one- 
third of the time of the colony was consumed in looking 
after stray cattle. However, another 10/- reward 
brought the animal back on Tuesday evening." 

This chapter has been introduced not only in the 
endeavour to give some idea of Canterbury life in the 
fifties, but as a recognition of the sterling character of 
many of those who lent a hand to build up old Canter- 

There is no doubt that the " mana " of the settlement 
continued to survive long after its first foundation, and 
attracted many men of unusual character and attain- 

One of them was Mr. John Cracroft Wilson, of whom, 
in April, 1854, Mr. Sewell wrote: "In the evening a 
new arrival, the ' Ackbar,' from Sydney, bringing Mr. 
Wilson, an Indian with a retinue of coolies, and intended 


to bring all sorts of animals, antelopes, hares, deer, etc., 
but unhappily, most of them died on the voyage. 


"I am sadly afraid that the Indian Nabob will be 
grievously disgusted, and carry back evil reports to 
India, whither he is to return." 

Mr. Sewell, apparently, was responsible for the nick- 
name " Nabob " by which Sir Cracroft Wilson was after- 
wards known. Mr. Wilson did return to India, and 
greatly distinguished himself during the Mutiny, and 
was recommended by Lord Canning to the favourable 
consideration of Her Majesty's Government as having 
''saved more Christian lives than any man in India." 
As a reward for this service, he was made a K.C.B., and 
later on a K.C.S.L 

After the Mutiny, Sir Cracroft Wilson took up his 
residence at " Cashmere," near Christchurch, where he 
died in 1881. 



Election of new Provincial Council The Canterbury As- 
sociation ordinance Sale of Town Reserves Arrival 
of Governor Gore Browne Bishop Harper : his ap- 
pointment, arrival and installation. 

The election of a new Provincial Council took place in 
March, 1855 ; it was rendered necessary by Mr. Hall's 
Provincial Council Extension Act, which besides increas- 
ing the membership of the Council from twelve to twenty- 
four, altered the boundaries of the electorates. 

With the exception of Mr. Cass, who retired, all the 
sitting members were returned. 

Captain Simeon, Speaker and Provincial Treasurer, 
retired from both offices, and was succeeded in the chair 
by Mr. Charles Bowen, while Mr. C. C. Bowen, son of 
the newly-elected Speaker, became Provincial Treasurer. 
The latter appointment came in for some criticism on 
account of Mr. Bowen's youth, particularly from Mr. 
Brittan, who held that the office should be conferred as 
a "reward of a long period of public service." Mr. 
Brittan went on to say that, in all probability, there was 
not one member of that House who would live to see 
the office vacant again, a forecast of Sir Charles Bowen's 
longevity which has been amply fulfilled. Another 
rather amusing point was made. It will be remembered 
that Mr. Godley was an Irishman. Mr. FitzGerald also 
came from the Emerald Isle, as did Mr. Charles Bowen, 
( the Speaker of the Council, and Mr. Gresson, a member 


of the Executive. Mr. Brittan raised some laughter by 
saying that there was an impression abroad that patron- 
age was flowing too much in one channel and that cer- 
tainly was not the English Channel. However, the ap- 
pointment was not seriously challenged, and Mr. C. C. 
Bowen became Provincial Treasurer, giving up his posi- 
tion as Inspector of Police. One of his last acts in the 
latter capacity was to assist in the prosecution of that 
famous sheep-stealer, James Mackenzie, after whom the 
Mackenzie Plains were named. 

It was now more than two years since Mr. Henry 
Sewell's arrival to wind up the affairs of the Can- 
terbury Association. In face of strong opposition 
he had steadily endeavoured to induce the Provincial 
Council to take over the assets and liabilities of the 
Association as its natural successor ; and at last his 
patience and ability were rewarded, and the Provincial 
Council passed the Canterbury Association Ordinance. 
This Act (July 10, 1855) constituted an agreement be- 
tween Mr. Henry Sewell, as agent of the Canterbury As- 
sociation, and the Provincial Government, for the latter 
to take over the assets and assume responsibility for the 
liabilities of the Association paying interest on advances 
which had been made by private individuals. The 
assets were enumerated in the several schedules of the 
Act, and included the Town Reserves, 897 acres ; Botani- 
cal Gardens, 23 acres; Cattle Market, 7 acres; Abattoirs, 
2 acres; Government Domain, 64 acres; also the sites of 
the Gaol, the Mechanics' Institution, Association offices 
and Stores, Custom House wharves. Agents' house, Post 
Office, Town Hall and Police Court. There were also 
special Reserves for Canals : Between Heathcote and 
Ha Is well rivers, 29 acres; between Avon and Purarekanui 
rivers, 45 acres; between Avon and sea, 28 acres.* 

*By Provincial Council Canal Reserve Ordinance, September 19. 
1871. the Superintendent was authorised to sell this reserve. 


The liabilities taken over amounted to 28,939 10s. 
7d., and the motion for the adoption of the agreement was 
moved by Mr. J. Brittan, and supported by other speakers 
who paid tribute to the unselfish work done by the As- 
sociation. The Provincial Council declined to cavil at 
certain items of expenditure to which it might easily have 
taken exception, and cheerfully assumed what seemed 
then a heavy liability. 

Thus ended the corporate existence of the Canter- 
bury Association, a conclusion honourable to the Pro- 
vincial Council and greatly appreciated by the members 
of the Association. A letter addressed to the Superin- 
tendent contained this paragraph: " There is not one of 
us who will not retain for the whole of his life the most 
lively interest in the fortunes of the colony of Canter- 
bury, and the most affectionate regard for its inhabi- 
tants." The letter was signed by twenty-seven mem- 
bers of the Association in London, the first signature 
being that of Lord Lyttelton, and the last that of Mr. 
J. R. Godley. 

It was found necessary at a second session of the 
Provincial Council in October, to pass the Canterbury 
Association Reserves Ordinance, to enable the Provincial 
Council to administer property acquired through the 
Canterbury Association. It was by this ordinance that 
authority was given to sell the town reserves (about 400 
acres) which surrounded Christchurch on three sides, and 
a minimum price fixed at 50 per acre, the money to be 
used to pay off the Canterbury Association liabilities 
(28,939 10s. 7d.), for which 6 per cent, debentures had 
been issued. Besides authorising the sale of the reserves, 
the Ordinance provided for the necessary reading to open 
up the land for residential purposes, viz., the formation of 
belts, two chains wide, round the city, and the continua- 
tion of streets to meet these belts. 

It may be mentioned here that the first sale of Town 
Reserves under this Ordinance took place on February 7, 


1856, at which 107 acres were sold at an average price 
of 60 per acre, or 10 above the upset price. The 
regulations provided that applicants could apply for 
blocks not exceeding five acres, and that all blocks so 
applied for should be put up to auction at the upset price 
of 50 per acre. Subsequent sales were held at intervals 
as applications were received, and prices were more than 
maintained. Eventually the whole of the Canterbury 
Association liabilities were liquidated from this source, 
and it became necessary in January, 1866, to pass the 
Canterbury Debenture Fund Ordinance to dispose of the 
surplus from the fund as ordinary revenue. t 

The new Governor, His Excellency Colonel Gore 
Browne, who had landed in Auckland the previous Sep- 
tember, arrived in Lyttelton on December 31, 1855, with 
Mrs. Gore Browne, and met with a cordial reception. He 
was the first constitutional Governor of New Zealand with 
responsible ministers. 

The Provincial Council presented a loyal address, but 
respectfully pointed out that Auckland was a most in- 
convenient site for the seat of His Excellency's Govern- 
ment. If His Excellency read the papers, as no doubt 
he did, he must have seen that, however unanimous the 
Council might have been against Auckland as the seat 
of Government, there was some divergence of opinion 
about the propriety of raising such an issue in an address 
of welcome. 

One of His Excellency's first acts was to order the 
release of James Mackenzie, whose capture has already 
been recorded. We are not told the grounds on which 
Mackenzie was liberated, but probably the Government 
was not sorry to be relieved of the custody of a prisoner 
who had been somewhat elusive in his ways. One of 
the conditions of his release was that Mackenzie should 

tAmong the Provincial Council receipts on March 31, 1866, 
appears an amount, 4,430 Os. 3d., from Canterbury Association 
Debenture Fund Account. 


seek "fresh woods and pastures new," but he will live 
in Canterbury history as the godfather of the Mackenzie 
Plains, which he discovered, and to which he took his 
stolen sheep. 

The election for the House of Representatives of the 
second Parliament of New Zealand took place in De- 
cember, 1855, and January, 1856. There were 37 mem- 
bers to be elected, and the Superintendents of the six 
provinces all gained seats Mr. FitzGerald as Member 
for Lyttelton. Christchurch was represented by Mr. 
H. Sewell, and there were three other members for Can- 
terbury. Mr. Henry Tancred was appointed to the Legis- 
lative Council ; the first Canterbury nomination to that 

A short session of the Provincial Council opened on 
February 28. Mr. FitzGerald, owing to ill-health, was 
unable to attend the opening. Mr. Godley had resigned 
the position of Canterbury Agent in London (July 2, 
1855), and Mr. H. Selfe Selfe was appointed to succeed 
him. The appointments in each case were honorary, 
and the services of both gentlemen were subsequently 
recognised by the thanks of the Provincial Council, and 
a grant of 100 to each to " purchase a memorial." 

At a later session held in November of the same year, 
the Council decided to have the Seal of the Canterbury 
Association converted into a Seal for the Province by 
changing the word "Societatis" into "Provincise." There 
had been a rather amusing battle for the possession of 
this Seal a few years before. Mr. Joseph Brittan, when 
appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands by Sir George 
Grey, occupied the Canterbury Association's office, and 
seized upon the Seal, in addition to survey maps and other 
Association property, and refused to surrender them to 
Mr. Sewell, the representative of the Association, even 
though the latter obtained judgment against Mr. Brittan 
for illegally retaining possession of the property. Mr. 
Sewell, in his journal, expressed great indignation, and 


Now in Canterbury Museum. 



declared that he believed Mr. Brittan carried the Seal to 
bed with him at night for safer custody. The matter 
was finally adjusted on a protest made to the General 
Government by Mr. FitzGerald (August 29, 1854), and 
the Seal restored. It now rests in the Canterbury 
Museum, the central design being the Association's Seal 
with the added inscription " Sigillum Provincise Cantuar- 
iensis " around the shield. 

At last the settlement was to welcome its own Bishop. 
The selection of the Rev. Henry John Chitty Harper was 
due to Bishop Selwyn. Their friendship was formed at 
Eton, where Mr. Harper was then (1833) engaged in pre- 
paring boys for the College, of which he was also Chaplain, 
and Mr. Selwyn joined the teaching staff fresh from his 
career at Cambridge. It was through the influence of Mr. 
Harper that his friend was led to take Holy Orders. Their 
paths separated, when, in 1840, Mr. Harper was presented 
to the living of Stratford Mortimer, and a year later Mr. 
Selwyn became Bishop of New Zealand, though only 
thirty-two years of age. 

The legal difficulties in the way of sub-dividing the 
diocese of New Zealand were removed by an Act passed 
through the British Parliament in 1853, which provided 
on certain conditions for the appointment of a Bishop 
of Christchurch. When, therefore, Bishop Selwyn was 
in England in 1854, one of his objects was to select a 
suitable man for the position. His thoughts naturally 
turned to his old Eton friend, and he visited Mr. Harper 
at Mortimer. The visit led to no definite engagement, 
and it was understood that before accepting appointment, 
Mr. Harper would require an express invitation from 
the members of the Church of England in Canterbury. 

On his return to New Zealand, Bishop Selwyn took 
with him two of Mr. Harper's sons, Leonard and Charles, 
and soon after his arrival he called a meeting of members 
of the Church of England in Canterbury. 

The meeting was held on November 8. 1855. in St. 


Michael's Church, which had not then been consecrated; 
it was presided over by Mr. FitzGerald, and Bishop 
Selwyn suggested the name of the Rev. H. J. C. Harper 
as the first Bishop of Christchurch. The Bishop of New 
Zealand spoke so warmly of the sterling character of his 
friend that the meeting carried resolutions praying Her 
Majesty the Queen to nominate a Bishop of Christchurch, 
and affirming that it would preserve the interests of the 
Church in the Province if the Rev. H. J. C. Harper (then 
the vicar of Mortimer, in Berkshire) were appointed to 
the post. At the time these resolutions reached England, 
the Rev. Edmund Hobhouse, a Fellow of Merton College, 
was in communication with Lord Lyttelton, who wished 
to recommend him for appointment as Bishop of Christ- 
church, but Mr. Hobhouse* immediately gave way on the 
declared wishes of the members of the Church of England 
residents in the Province of Canterbury becoming known, 
and Mr. Harper was appointed. He was consecrated 
Bishop at the Lambeth Palace Chapel, August 10, 1856, 
and sailed for Lyttelton in the " Egmont " on September 

The first person to greet Bishop Harper on his arrival 
(December 23) was Bishop Selwyn, who had come to 
meet him in his yacht, the " Southern Cross," and came 
on board the " Egmont," bringing with him Mr. Leonard 
Harper. The meeting of the two Bishops has been com- 
memorated in a fine piece of sculpture, which forms the 
central panel of the Cathedral pulpit. 

Canon Purchas, in his "Bishop Harper and the Can- 
terbury Settlement," has supplied a graphic account of 
the difficulties of transport in conveying the Bishop with 
his numerous family and luggage over the Bridle Track 
to Mr. Cookson's house in Heathcote Valley. From 
thence to Christchurch, the Bishop and some members 
of his family were conveyed by Mr. J. E. FitzGerald in 

*He was shortly afterwards appointed as the first Bishop of 


a dog-cart of his own make, which he called the " circu- 
lating medium." It was original in its design, and pos- 
sessed a pair of enormous wheels, and was drawn by two 
horses harnessed tandem. This was the famous chariot 
which was afterwards celebrated as the pioneer of wheel 
traffic over the Sumner Road. On his arrival in Christ- 
church, the Bishop was welcomed by Dean Jacobs, then 
Headmaster of Christ's College, with the epigrammatic 
greeting "Tandem venisti, my lord." 

On the following day, Christmas Day, the Bishop was 
installed at St. Michael's Church, which thenceforward 
became the pro-Cathedral. Bishop Selwyn was present, 
but could take no part in the proceedings, because it 
was found that the Letters Patent had been made out in 
a form placing the new Bishop under the authority of 
the Bishop of Sydney. The necessary documents were 
read by Mr. (afterwards Judge) Gresson. 

With the installation of its Bishop, Christchurch 
became an episcopal See under English letters patent, and 
therefore entitled to rank as a city, a distinction which it 
afterwards shared with Nelson, the only other New Zea- 
land See so constituted. Bishop Selwyn, who had ceased 
to be the Bishop of the Diocese preached affectionate 
farewell sermons to paheka and Maori congregations, and 
early in January sailed for the Chatham Islands. An 
address of welcome from the members of the Church of 
England was presented to Bishop Harper by the Super- 
intendent (December 30), and the opportunity was taken 
to pass resolutions praying Her Majesty the Queen, and 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, that New Zealand should 
be constituted a separate ecclesiastical province, and that 
the Primacy should be "migratory" not stationary. 
The desires of the meeting were fulfilled New Zealand 
was constituted a separate ecclesiastical province, and by 
the constitution of the Church of England in New Zealand 
as finally agreed upon, it was left to the General Synod to 
frame regulations for the election of the Primate. It 


only remains to add that when Bishop Selwyn was trans- 
lated to Lichfield, the Synod, in October, 1868, elected 
Bishop Harper as his successor to the Primacy. Bishop 
Selwyn himself presided over that Synod, but sailed 
immediately afterwards to take up his duties in England. 

The Primate-elect did not enter in his office till July, 
1869, when he received notice from the late Bishop of New 
Zealand that his resignation of office as Metropolitan 
had been registered in the office of Faculties of the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. 

At the time of his installation Bishop Harper's diocese 
as Bishop of Christchurch included not only Canterbury, 
but Otago and Southland. The division of the diocese 
occurred in 1869, and was followed by a painful incident 
in the Church history of New Zealand. It is not neces- 
sary to tell the story here, it will be found fully related 
in Dean Jacobs' "Diocese of New Zealand." Suffice 
it to say that Dr Jenner claimed, unsuccessfully as it 
proved, to have been appointed Bishop of Dunedin. The 
claim was resisted, and in the meantime Bishop Harper 
continued to administer the affairs of both dioceses. It 
was not till 1871 that the question was finally disposed of, 
and on June 4 of that year, the Right Rev. Samuel 
Tarratt Nevill was consecrated at St. Paul's, Dunedin, 
and on the same day, the Bishop of Christchurch formally 
resigned charge of the Bishopric of Dunedin, and, as 
Primate of New Zealand, inducted the Right Rev. S. T. 
Nevill into the Bishopric of the See. 



Christ's College The Sumner Road Departure of Mr. J. 
E. FitzGerald. 

Bishop Harper, betore leaving 1 England, had inter- 
ested himself in the foundation of Christ's College, and 
had collected funds for the purpose. On his arrival in 
Christchurch, he continued to devote his energy to the 
same object. An interval occurred while he attended 
the conference at Auckland, in June, at which the Con- 
stitution of the Church of England in New Zealand above 
referred to was drawn up, but shortly after his return, 
he performed his first important function in Christchurch, 
when on July 24, 1857, he, as Warden of the College, 
laid the foundation stone of Christ's College. 

A main feature in the plan of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion was the foundation of a Church of England College, 
to be called Christchurch College. There were to be 
two departments, an upper College for young men over 
the age of seventeen, and a lower Grammar School on 
the model of similar schools in England, for boys from 
seven to seventeen. It was then intended that the College 
should be situated close to the Cathedral, in the Square, 
and that the upper department, or College proper, should 
be the predominant consideration. 

The Rev. Henry Jacobs, M.A., was appointed by the 
Canterbury Association, in May, 1849, to take charge of 
the collegiate department, and also to superintend the 
Grammar School at the outset. He came out in the 
"Sir George Seymour," acting as chaplain on the 


voyage. Soon after his arrival, Mr. Jacobs established 
both the College and Grammar School in two rooms in 
the Immigration Barracks at Lyttelton. In the follow- 
ing year, April, 1852, the establishment was removed 
to Christchurch, to a small building at the corner of 
Lichfield Street and Oxford Terrace, opposite the site of 
St. Michael's Church. Christ's College, as at present 
constituted, was founded by the Church Property Trustees 
by Deed of Foundation, dated May 21, 1855, and endowed 
with one-fifth of the Town and Rural Lands recently 
conveyed to them by the Canterbury Association through 
its Agent, Mr. Henry Sewell. The Deed provided that 
the Bishop of Christchurch should be ex officio Warden 
of the College. It also appointed, as sub-Warden, the 
Rev. Henry Jacobs, M.A., and ten Fellows. There 
being no Bishop of Christchurch at the time, Mr. Jacobs, 
as sub-Warden, was the first head of Christ's College. 

The Provincial Council passed an Ordinance (June 28, 
1855) incorporating Christ's College in terms of the 
Deed of Foundation, and at a later session (October 23), 
authorised the Superintendent (himself one of the Fellows 
of the College) to convey, not exceeding ten acres of 
the Government Domain as a site for the College. 

It may not be generally known that the selection of 
the present site was attributable to the foresight of Mr. 
Henry Sewell. Bishop Selwyn disapproved of the Ca- 
thedral Square site for the College. He wanted a 
country site removed from the turmoil of the city, and 
at one time, it was suggested that the College should be 
placed near the Heathcote Ferry. The actual selection 
was made on June 8, 1853. It so happened that Mr. 
Sewell dined that day with Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs at their 
school-house. There were present also the Rev. R. B. 
Paul and Mr. T. Cass, the chief surveyor. The four 
the Revs. Jacobs and Paul, and Messrs. T. Cass and 
Sewell, formed themselves into a sort of selection com- 
mittee. Mr. Paul seems to have favoured the old pro- 



o > 



posal of Cathedral Square, but Mr. Sewell brushed aside 
the suggestion with the practical criticism that there 
was no space, only three or four acres in all. "So," 
as he wrote in his breezy journal, " I walked them off 
to look at the land marked ' Government Domain,' about 
64 acres next the town, surrounded on three sides by the 
river, and after a careful inspection of the site, we all 
agreed that it was the place." He soon got other sup- 
porters; on the way back "we met Mathias and Dr. 
Barker, and brought them into complicity with us," and 
later, " Brittan, whom I afterwards saw, takes to the 
idea very much. We have sketched out, in imagination, 
a handsome central street, running through the city, 
terminated at one end by the College and its gardens, and 
at the other by the Cathedral in the central Square." 
The selection was subject to the consent of the Provincial 
Council and of Bishop Selwyn, which was afterwards 

Building funds were secured from various sources 
about 1,800 was subscribed in England. The Pro- 
vincial Council granted 500. The sale of one-half of 
Cathedral Square to the Government (November 25, 1858), 
ultimately brought in 1,200. Also some funds were 
provided from the Somes' Estate. The Schoolroom was 
opened November 26, 1857, but it was not till the follow- 
ing year that the School, then numbering about fifty, 
moved into its new home. Since then, many additions 
have been made, the most noticeable being the big school- 
room built in 1863, from plans drawn by Mr. Fitz- 
Gerald, and the College Chapel, opened October 23, 1867. 
The Chapel was built from the designs of Mr. Robert 
Speechly. resident architect of the Cathedral, and was 
partly paid for by the generosity of Archdeacon Wilson, 
then Bursar of the College, and was enlarged in 1883. 
by the addition of transepts and chancel. 

Another notable addition was the Headmaster's house, 
accommodating about sixty boarders, which was opened 


in 1909, and was the gift of old Christ's College boys, 
a gift which may be taken as evidence that Christ's 
College had already gathered round it traditions similar 
to those of the great public schools of England, traditions 
fostered by the formation of Christ's College Old Boys' 
Association, founded February 20, 1877, under the 
Presidency of Mr. George Harper. Like many of the 
Canterbury Association plans, the reality has moved on 
very different lines from those anticipated. The College 
is not in Cathedral Square, the Collegiate department, 
though doing good work, particularly in preparing can- 
didates for ordination, has quite failed to become the 
predominant partner, but if the founders of the Associa- 
tion could now see the alma-mater they founded, they 
would have no cause for regret. 

Associated with Christ's College is also a "Lower 
Department," formerly the Cathedral School, a pre- 
paratory school for the College from which the Cathedral 
Choir is supplied. It was established separately in 
1881, but incorporated with Christ's College in 1895. 

Christ's College was affiliated to the University of 
New Zealand in 1873. Among other endowments may 
be noted an annual divinity prize, founded in 1879, by 
the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour. 

The following is a list of the Headmasters : 
Rev. Henry Jacobs, M.A., Oxford, resigned 1863 y 
but continued to be connected with the College 
till his death (February 6, 1901). 
Reginald Broughton, M.A., Balliol College, Oxford r 

Rev. W. Chambers Harris, M.A., Brasenose College r 

Oxford, 1866-1872. 
C. C. Corfe, B.A., Jesus College, Cambridge, 1872- 


Rev. F. A. Hare, M.A., Emmanuel College, Cam- 
bridge, 1888-1892. 

THE SUMNER ROAD, 1857. 115 

C. F. Bourne, St. John's College, Oxford, 1893- 

Rev. C. H. Moreland, Lincoln College, Oxford, 1904- 

E. A. Belcher, Lincoln College, Oxford, 1913-1914. 

G. E. Blanch, Christ Church, Oxford, 1915. 
The Sumner Road was the first important under- 
taking completed in Canterbury. Captain Thomas chose 
the line as the most practicable route for communication 
between the Port and the Plains, but the work he started 
before the arrival of the pilgrims suffered many inter- 
ruptions, and was not finished till August, 1857. 
During the first session of the Provincial Council in 
1853, a committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. W. B. 
Bray, C.E., was set up to consider the completion of the 
road, and reported favourably, but suggested tunnelling 
under Evans' Pass to avoid the rocks near the Zig-zag. 
Even at that early period railway communication be- 
tween Port and Plains was being discussed, the alterna- 
tive routes proposed including the one eventually adopted, 
and another starting from Gollan's Bay via Evans' Pass. 
But the time was premature for railway communication, 
and on December 27, 1854, the Provincial Council com- 
mitted itself to the Sumner Road at an estimated cost of 

The Bridle Track route had also its supporters, and 
Mr. H. J. Gouland, the Provincial Secretary, made the 
quaint suggestion of a windlass at the top of the track, 
to be worked by bullocks, till circumstances permitted 
the construction of a tunnel. Another attempt (in 
1856) to substitute the Bridle Track for the Sumner Road 
has already been referred to. 

Eventually the road was constructed via Evans' Pass 
without tunnelling, but in order to avoid the expense of 
considerable rock cutting, a wide deviation was made 
from the plans of Captain Thomas necessitating the 
steep Zig-zag on the Lyttelton side. Captain Thomas' 


plan would have given a good trotting road all the way, 
and, when in 1914, the use of motors made it necessary 
to avoid the steep gradients and sharp turns of the Zig- 
zag, the Government, in conjunction with the several 
local authorities interested, adopted the actual line 
pegged out by Captain Thomas some sixty-five years 
earlier a remarkable endorsement of the Captain's skill 
as an engineer. 

The road was opened in picturesque fashion on August 
24, by the Superintendent, and writing nearly fifty years 
afterwards, on the occasion of the Jubilee of Canterbury, 
Sir Charles Bowen described how Mr. FitzGerald " in- 
sisted on risking his own life and that of his friends by 
driving a tandem over the half finished Zig-zag. It 
was negotiated with the assistance of volunteer grooms 
hanging on to the horses' heads, and a stalwart crowd 
hanging on to the dog-cart behind. The Provincial 
Secretary, who was an elderly gentleman, felt it his 
duty to accompany the Superintendent, and manfully 
stuck to his seat throughout; but it was reported that 
he had made his will the day before." The Provincial 
Secretary referred to was Mr. Gouland, mentioned 
above, and Sir Charles was himself a passenger, but got 
out at the top of the Zig-zag. The " circulating medium," 
in which this journey was accomplished, was men- 
tioned in the last chapter in connection with Bishop 
Harper's arrival. A more detailed description of it has 
been supplied by Mr. Alfred Cox, in his "Recollections," 
published in 1884: "A vehicle," he wrote, "at once 
the delight of small boys and the terror of all horses. 
It had two wheels only ; but such wheels ! They towered 
to the level of the wall plates of the houses of that time 
the thing resembled a timber carriage, with shafts in- 
stead of a pole. . . To drag it about two horses were 
absolutely required, and were yoked up tandem fashion. 
One of Mr. FitzGerald's last drives before leaving 
Canterbury was over the Sumner Road to Lyttelton. 


It is said that on that occasion he was not 
assisted by more than two men at the head of each horse 
but it is very difficult to get at the truth of these 
rumours." At any rate, the Superintendent safely ac- 
complished the journey, and was able to preside at the 
inevitable banquet which was held at Lyttelton. 

The Band which accompanied the expedition was not 
so adventurous, and left their conveyance at Sumner, 
finishing the journey on foot. 

The Superintendent announced that the road had cost 
less than 7,000. The Provincial Council had been 
dissolved (July 14), and the elections of a new Council 
and a new Superintendent were imminent. Mr. Fitz 
Gerald's health did not permit him to seek re-election ; 
it had prevented him from attending the previous Par- 
liamentary session, and he had made up his mind to 
return to England. The opportunity was taken to 
appoint him Immigration Agent in London, where his 
services were greatly needed. 

For the past two years Great Britain had been en- 
gaged first in the Crimean War, and then with the Indian 
Mutiny. The files of the Christchurch papers were full 
of stirring events, often to the exclusion of any local 
news. In them can be read the contemporary account 
of the Charge of the Light Brigade, and the horrors of 
Cawnpore. One effect of the troubles through which Great 
Britain was passing was to divert attention from the 
Colonies, and the tide of emigration almost ceased. 
Labour was badly wanted in Canterbury, and there was 
ample scope for Mr. FitzGerald's energy in securing it. 
He sailed about the end of September amid very general 
regret. The "Lyttelton Times," with which, in its 
early days, he had been so closely associated, declared 
in an appreciative article, that he belonged to the same 
dynasty as Mr. J. R. Godley. 




Election of Superintendent Moorhouse " The Amended 
Regulations ' ' - Public Hospital - - Canterbury 
Chamber of Commerce Return of Mr. FitzGerald 
from England, and publication of the " Press " 
Lyttelton Tunnel Mr. Julius Haast (afterwards Sir 
Julius) Mr. Edward Dobson Christchurch Muni 
cipal Council Artesian water supply Resignation 
of Mr. Moorhouse. 

After the departure of Mr. FitzGerald there was an 
interval of some months before the election of his suc- 
cessor, and during that period Mr. Charles Bowen acted 
as Deputy-Superintendent. The elections took place in 
November, when Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse was 
elected to the Superintendency, defeating Mr. Joseph 
Brittan by a substantial majority. The new Provincial 
Council, consisting of twenty-six members, met on 
January 19, 1858, with Mr. Ollivier at the head of the 
Government, in place of Mr. Packer, who had resigned 

That session (January 19 to February 24), was 
chiefly remarkable for the passage of the " Amended 
Regulations," relating to the waste lands of the Pro 
vince. The subject had frequently occupied the time 
of the Provincial Council since 1855, when the first set 


of Regulations was disallowed by the Governor, and 
amended to meet his views. On April 15, 1856, another 
set of Regulations had been published in the "Gazette," 
offering rural lands at 40/- per acre. An application 
book was kept, and priority given in accordance with the 
order of the names appearing therein. It was at that 
time that certain historical races were ridden by settlers 
competing for priority of claim to particular blocks of 
land : notably one described by Mr. Samuel Butler, in 
which he himself took part. He and his neighbour had 
a dispute about the boundary line of their respective 
runs. The point at issue was the possession of a small 
piece of land on which stood a building and other 
improvements. Each man knew that if he could reach 
the land office before his rival, he could buy the freehold 
at 2 per acre, and so without spoken challenge, the 
race began. It was a long-distance competition, a 
hundred miles across country, with rivers to swim. The 
contestants passed and re-passed each other, but Mr. 
Butler, who had secured a remount on the road, won the 

Then came fresh complications : some of the early 
settlers had pre-emptive rights at 3 per acre. Was it 
fair, it was asked, that these men, the pioneers of Can- 
terbury, if they wished to exercise their pre-emption, 
should still have to pay 3, when others were paying 
only 2 per acre? But there was some doubt whether 
the dissolution of the Canterbury Association had not 
extinguished these pre-emptive rights altogether. A 
compromise was made, the pre-emptive rights were con- 
firmed, and the price reduced to 2: but a proviso was 
inserted that if another applicant desired to purchase 
the freehold, the owner of the pre-emptive right had 
either to exercise his pre-emption promptly or abandon 
it. The squatters, anxious to preserve their pre-emption 
rights over large blocks of land, discovered a flaw in 
these regulntions: they need not purchase the whole 


of their grazing area it was quite sufficient to purchase 
twenty acres, and that stayed proceedings, and the whole 
machinery, application, notice and the rest, had to be 
started again, taking some months, and even then the 
squatter had only to buy another twenty acres, to ensure 
a further respite. 

The "Amended Regulations" were intended to put 
a stop to this practice, but the squatters were in a 
majority in the Provincial Council, and so amended the 
' ' Amended Regulations ' ' as to make themselves fairly 
safe. It was this debate which was described in "The 
Song of the Squatters," by Mr. Crosbie Ward, in the 
"Canterbury Rhymes." 

It is only fair to the squatters to say that there was 
some reason for protecting homesteads and valuable im- 
provements from being taken by land selectors, since 
no compensation was provided. 

The next meeting of the Provincial Council, Sep- 
tember 29, 1859, was held for the first time in its own 
premises on the site which had been originally reserved 
for a Public Hospital. 

It therefore became necessary to find another situa- 
tion for the Hospital, and a Bill was passed, taking about 
five acres of the Public Domain for that purpose. This 
was the last serious encroachment made on the public 
reserves of Christchurch, though several attempts at 
diverting portions of them to special purposes were sub- 
sequently made. For instance, in March, 1867, there 
was a strong agitation to induce the Council to grant a 
site for a cattle market in Hagley Park, near the Carlton 
Bridge. Happily, however, Christchurch citizens have 
been always very sensitive about any interference with 
their reserves. The Hospital Bill passed, and the Hos- 
pital was built, and for some years administered by a 
Board of Governors. Eventually the usual difficulty 
arose a lack of funds for administration, and in August, 
, 1864, the Government, at the request of the Board, 



passed the Hospital and Charitable Aid Ordinance, vest- 
ing the Hospital in the Superintendent, and giving rating 
powers for its maintenance. 

It was about this time that an important institution, 
the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce, began its career 
in Lyttelton, on August 19, 1859, under the title of 
Lyttelton Chamber of Commerce. (The name was after- 
wards changed on the removal of the Chamber to Christ- 
church in 1863). 

Mr. Isaac Thomas Cookson, of the firm of Cookson, 
Bowler and Co., was the first President, and the list of 
his successors included the names of many of the most 
successful business men of Christchurch. The subse- 
quent history of the institution has been so inseparably 
associated with the commercial history of the city and 
province that a separate record is hardly required. The 
Chamber of Commerce, in after years, took a prominent 
part in every movement to promote the commercial wel- 
fare of the district. Its headquarters were moved, in 
1886, from Tattersall's Buildings in Cashel Street, to its 
present chamber in the Australian Mutual Provident 
Buildings, Cathedral Square. 

Mr. FitzGerald returned from England in April, 1860. 
While acting as Emigration Agent for Canterbury in 
London, his journalistic instincts had found scope in 
the re-establishment of the "Canterbury Papers" (New 
Series), in 1859. In his official capacity as Emigration 
Agent he had carried out the instructions of the Pro- 
vincial Government, but on arrival in Canterbury, free 
from the shackles of his official position, he was at liberty 
to give expression to his personal opinions, and declared 
himself an opponent of the Lyttelton Tunnel, and was 
supported by many others whose opinions were entitled 
to carry weight. Shortly after his arrival, therefore, 
he entered into a crusade, with his customary vigour, 
against the Tunnel, and against Superintendent Moor- 
house, who was its energetic promoter. He sought a 


seat in the Provincial Council, from which to voice his 
opposition, and was returned for Akaroa on May 16. -As 
an old journalist, he realised the necessity of newspaper 
support, and finding that the " Lyttelton Times," of 
which he had been the first editor, was enthusiastic in 
its advocacy of the Tunnel, he set himself to establish a 
rival newspaper, and the appearance of the "Press," 
on May 25, 1860, was due to his enterprise. The first 
number of the new journal contained a long leading 
article opposing the proposed Tunnel, accompanied by 
the threat " we shall return to this matter probably again 
and again." 

In a former chapter it has been stated that in the 
early provincial days, there were no party politics as 
we know them. Possibly it is not too much to suggest 
that the old order changed with the advent of the 
"Press." Party politics, in any case, were bound 
to come sooner or later, and it was manifestly desirable 
that each side should be adequately represented in 
journalism. The "Press" has since enjoyed a long 
and honourable career, and is to-day one of the foremost 
papers in New Zealand. 

The election of Mr. Moorhouse, as Superintendent, on 
November 4, 1857, had not turned on any particular 
policy measure, and the Lyttelton Tunnel, with which 
his name subsequently became so closely associated, 
was not referred to in the addresses of either of the 
candidates. It was later on that the demand for rail- 
way communication between Christchurch and its port 
became insistent, fanned by a series of articles in the 
"Lyttelton Times." The Superintendent placed him- 
self at the head of the movement, and never rested till he 
had carried it to a triumphant conclusion. The project 
was first seriously mooted in the Provincial Council in 
November, 1858, when a committee, under the chairman- 
ship of Mr. E. Dobson, Provincial Engineer, was set 
up to collect local information, and this was followed by 


the appointment of three Commissioners in London " for 
the construction of railways in Canterbury." The Com- 
missioners were Mr. J. E. FitzGerald, at that time 
Emigration Officer for the Province, Mr. James J. Cum- 
mins, of the Union Bank of Australia (the only Bank 
then operating in Canterbury), and Mr. H. Selfe Selfe, 
who possessed valuable Parliamentary experience. Mr. 
FitzGerald had taken to London with him a model of 
the range of hills between Christchurch and Lyttelton, 
and his local knowledge was invaluable in the promotion 
of the work. Associated with the Commission was Mr. 
W. B. Bray, C.E., a former member of the Provincial 
Council, whose professional experience and local know- 
ledge were placed unreservedly at the disposal of his 

Mr. FitzGerald was, from the outset, opposed to the 
Tunnel, his preference being for the route via Sumner 
and Evans' Pass, over which he had driven his tandem, 
and he urged a high level railway, with steep gradients 
and a comparatively short tunnel, instancing some of the 
railway engineering then being carried out in America 
as proof of the practicability of his scheme. But the 
choice of route was- for decision by an expert, and, in 
due course, the three Commissioners submitted their 
proposals to the greatest living authority on railway 
engineering, Mr. Robert Stephenson. Mr. Stephenson, 
possibly on account of ill-health (he died the following 
October, and was buried at Westminster Abbey), passed 
them on to his cousin, Mr. George Robert Stephenson, an 
engineer of almost equal eminence. The London Com- 
missioners had also to report on the finance of the under- 
taking, and at first favoured borrowing only 70,000 in 
London, there being authority in existence for a loan 
to this amount, and paying for the remainder of the 
undertaking out of the Provincial revenues, or, if need 
be, by a mortgage on the undertaking itself. Mr. 
Stephenson's report, dated London. August 10. 1859, 


was laid before the Provincial Council in October, 1859. 
It dealt exhaustively with three different routes. The 
high level Sumner route via Evans' Pass was condemned 
out of hand on account of its steep grades and sharp 
curves. The Gollan Bay route was also condemned, 
and the line of the present Tunnel recommended. Mr. 
Stephenson's estimate of the cost was 250,000, at which 
he thought it would be possible to obtain an English 
contractor of repute to undertake the work. The Com- 
missioners were so favourably impressed with Mr. 
Stephenson's report that they took the responsibility of 
asking him to find a contractor, and this he did, Messrs. 
Smith, Knight and Co. offering to construct the Tunnel 
for 235,000. 

The Provincial Council had voted a sum of 4,000 
for preliminary expenses, and the Commissioners entered 
into a provisional agreement in September, 1859, with 
Messrs. Smith, Knight and Co., under which this firm 
sent out their agent, Mr. Baynes, and an engineering 
staff to make a preliminary investigation, and undertook 
that if they found the conditions were as represented, 
they would sign a definite contract. The Provincial 
Council was only committed to the payment of a fixed 
sum of 3,000 for preliminary expenses, and was not 
bound to proceed with the work if it proved impossible 
to pass the necessary legislation. 

The two Bills, the Railway Bill and the Loan Bill for 
70,000, were introduced and passed in December, 1859, 
not without serious opposition. The Railway Bill came 
up for consideration on December 15, the eve of the ninth 
anniversary of the Province, and Mr. J. Hall moved that 
its second reading should be taken that day six months, 
but this attempt to kill the measure was defeated. Public 
opinion was undoubtedly at the back of the undertaking, 
but many people thought the responsibility of carrying 
out so gigantic an undertaking too great for a com- 
munity of only about 10,000 persons. It must be remem- 


bered that in 1860 a tunnel one mile and three-quarters 
in length was almost a world's record. (The Mont Cenis 
Tunnel had been started in 1857, but was not finished 
till some years later.) There was also the uncertainty 
of what might be met with in cutting through the wall 
of an ancient crater of large dimensions. Mr. Fitz- 
Gerald's opposition has already been noted, and Mr. 
Godley, in a private letter, published in the newspapers, 
counselled caution. Nor did the passage of the two 
Bills end the matter. They had to be reserved for the 
Governor's assent, and this was later refused on the 
ground that the Provincial Council was trenching on the 
privileges of the General Assembly. On the Governor's 
refusal becoming known, the Superintendent called the 
Provincial Council together, and carried a resolution 
asking the General Assembly to authorise the Railway 
and loan. This time authority was sought to borrow 
300,000 instead of 70,000. A public meeting was 
called at the Town Hall by Mr. T. W. Maude, as Sheriff, 
and, in spite of the opposition of Mr. Joseph Brittan, it 
endorsed the railway policy of the Government. Fortified 
by this support, the Superintendent went to Auckland, 
where Parliament was sitting, and returned in triumph 
with authority enabling the Provincial Council to pass 
the Loan Bill for 300,000, which it did in July, 1860. 

Meanwhile, in January, 1860, Mr. Baynes had arrived 
in Lyttelton and started work at the Lyttelton end of 
the Tunnel. The start at the Heathcote end was deferred 
for some months, waiting for plant to arrive from Eng- 
land. But now a fresh difficulty arose. Mr. Baynes 
had been in Auckland assisting the Superintendent in 
the passage of the Bills, but soon after his return he 
threw up the contract on account of meeting some very 
hard stone, and in November. 1860. it was finally can- 

Mr. Julius Haast (afterwards Sir Julius von Haast) 
arrived at Lvttelton about the same time from Nelson, 


where he had carried out a comprehensive geological 
survey of the country. He had already established a 
high reputation among scientists and practical men, and 
the Provincial Government secured his services to report 
on the probable extent of the hard rock which had led 
to the abandonment of the first contract. His report, 
read to the Council on December 20, was favourable, pre- 
dicting that a good deal of the distance to be driven 
would be through comparatively easy country, and that 
it would prove possible to complete the Tunnel sooner 
and at less cost than had been originally anticipated. 

Mr. Baynes and his engineer, Mr. McCandlish, were 
publicly entertained by the Superintendent on November 
30, 1860, prior to their departure for England, and 
acknowledgment was made of the assistance they had 
given in passing the Railway Bill and initiating the 

The Superintendent then proposed that the Pro- 
vincial Engineer, Mr. Edward Dobson, should continue 
the work at both ends of the Tunnel, and that later on, 
when more information had been obtained, a contract 
should be let for the central portion. This proposal, 
when submitted to the Provincial Council on December 
11, 1860, was carried only by the casting vote of the 
chairman, and the Superintendent, being disinclined to 
act on so narrow a majority, invited the Council to join 
him in praying the Governor for a dissolution. A few 
days later, on January 4, 1861, the matter was patched 
up, and the Superintendent was authorised to find a new 
contractor, and to negotiate the loan, the two proposi- 
tions to be interdependent. 

Shortly iafterwards, Mr. Moorhouse left for Mel- 
bourne in search of a contractor. In his absence, he 
lost his seat in the House of Representatives, being 
beaten by Mr. A. E. White Cfor Akaroa) on February 13, 
1861, but he was subsequently returned for Heathcote. 
At Melbourne, about April 16. 1861, he entered into a 


provisional contract with Messrs. Holmes and Co. (Mr. 
George Holmes and Mr. E. Richardson), He also made 
arrangements with the Union Bank there to float a loan 
of 300,000 at the rate of 50,000 per annum, and on his 
return to Lyttelton, on April 28, 1861, accompanied by 
Mr. George Holmes, he met with a great reception from 
the Canterbury public, as it was recognised that the 
undertaking had been placed on a sound and promising 

On May 16, 1861, the provisional contract and loan 
arrangements were confirmed by the Provincial Council. 
The contract sum was 240,500, slightly more than that 
arranged with Messrs. Smith, Knight and Co., but it 
included other work outside the Tunnel, and was con- 
sidered more favourable to the Province. Mr. E. 
Richardson followed his partner to Lyttelton, and took 
charge of the work, and on July 17, 1861, the first sod 
was turned by Mr. W. S. Moorhouse, and the event was 
celebrated by a banquet, under the chairmanship of Mr. 

Looking back, one cannot help being amazed at the 
intrepidity shown by so small a community in under- 
taking so gigantic a task. One must remember, how- 
ever, that those were the prosperous days of Canterbury. 
The land sales, for instance, during the first half of 1862, 
amounted to 131,655 10s. The finances of the Pro- 
vince were in so flourishing a condition that the Pro- 
vincial Council (January 10, 1862) decided to purchase 
and cancel the first year's instalment of the railway 
Loan, 50,000, thus making the payment out of revenue. 

It may be added that Messrs. Holmes and Co. 
successfully carried out their contract, and on May 24, 
1867, the Tunnel was pierced by breaking into a drill 
hole, and five days later. May 29, a practical opening was 
made, through which some of the miners and Superin- 
tendent Moorhouse passed. The first trial trip of an 
engine through the Tunnel was made on November 18. 


1867, and the line was opened for passenger traffic on 
December 9, 1867. 

Something should be said about the work of Mr. 
Edward Dobson. In a paper he contributed in 1870 
to the Institution of Civil Engineers, describing the 
Public Works of Canterbury, Mr. Dobson supplied a 
complete set of drawings and documents relating to the 
Tunnel. The professional ability shown in these papers 
was recognised by the Council of the Institution by the 
award to Mr. Dobson of the Telford Medal and the Tel- 
ford Premium. Mr. Dobson was Provincial Engineer 
of Canterbury from 1854 to 1862. and in addition to the 
work of the Lyttelton Tunnel he engineered the road 
to the West Coast goldfields, but after the abolition of 
the provinces, his work in Canterbury came to an end, 
and for some years he followed his profession in 
Australia. Returning to Christchurch, he afterwards 
held the position of lecturer on civil engineering at 
Canterbury College. He died in April, 1908, at the 
advanced age of 91. 

After his successful conduct of the Lyttelton Tunnel 
campaign, there could be no other candidate for the 
Superintendency, and on August 30, 1861, Mr. Moor- 
house was returned unopposed. 

The new Provincial Council met on October 23. Dur- 
ing the session, a Provincial Council Extension Ordinance 
was passed, increasing the number of members from 
twenty-six to thirty -five, thereby necessitating a new 
election for Superintendent and members of Provincial 
Council, and in the following year, March 31, 1862, Mr. 
Moorhouse was returned unopposed for his third term 
of office. 

In December, I860, the Provincial Council had passed 
the Municipal Council Ordinance, enabling any town 
which desired to do so, to establish local government. 
Lyttelton was the first town to take advantage of the 
privilege, and the election there of a Municipal Council 


of nine members was held on February 4, 1862. Mr. W. 
Donald, R.M., who was returned at the head of the poll, 
became the first chairman of the Lyttelton Borough 
Council. Christchurch was not far behind. This town 
had been gazetted a municipal district on February 1, 
1862, and the election of members of the Council took 
place on February 28, and resulted in the return of nine 
members in the order given: J. Hall, R.M., J. Ander- 
son, G. Miles, W. Wilson, W. D. Barnard, E. Eeece, J. 
Barrett, H. E. Alport and G. Gould. At the first meet- 
ing, March 3, Mr. Hall was elected chairman. 

The agitation which led to the granting of local 
government to the city of Christchurch had been started 
by Mr. John Ollivier, who had presented a petition to 
the Superintendent from the householders of Christ- 
church. The receipt of the petition was acknowledged 
by the Provincial Secretary in a letter, dated December 
21, 1861, of sufficient importance to be quoted in full. 
It ran as follows : 

" Sir, I am directed by His Honour the Superinten- 
dent to acknowledge receipt of a petition from the 
householders of Christchurch, praying that the district of 
Christchurch may be proclaimed a municipal district. 

"The petition will be gazetted at once, and the peti- 
tioners may rely upon the Government laying before the 
Council a claim for a considerable grant of money from 
the Provincial chest, which the Government recognise 
as due to the town from the sale of Town Reserves to 
meet a liability of the whole Province. 

' The Government will also be prepared to recommend 
an endowment of waste lands as a permanent estate for 
the city so soon as legal doubts, which have been mooted, 
as to the powers of the Superintendent to reserve, shall 
have been removed. 

" I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant, 
" (Signed) Tuos. "W. MAUDE, Provincial Secretary, 
"To J. Ollivier, Esq., M.P.C." 


The important point was the frank admission by the 
Superintendent of the moral liability of the Province to 
compensate the city for the sale of its reserves. 

It was at first intended that the Government, as soon 
as it had obtained the necessary power, should reserve 
10,000 acres of rural land as an endowment to the city, 
and also set apart reserves on both sides of the river. 
Prior to the Provincial Council session of November, 

1862, certain proposed country reserves were selected 
by the Town Board of Christchurch, and provisionally 
reserved by the Superintendent, but the grant of rural 
lands was opposed in the Provincial Council, on the 
ground that such reserves would block settlement, and 
that a money grant would be more practical. The 
result was that only Town Reserves were at first granted, 
and a cash subsidy of 3,000 was paid about April, 1862, 
and other monetary grants were made in later years. A 
list of the city reserves will be found in the Appendix, 
with notes on the special objects to which they were to 
be devoted. 

In November, 1862, the Provincial Council .passed the 
Christchurch City Council Ordinance, granting the city 
its own constitution. The first meeting of the City 
Council under this ordinance took place on March 23, 

1863, when Hon. John Hall, R.M., was re-elected, as 

The most pressing matters with which the Town 
Board, as it was at first styled, had to deal, were water 
supply, drainage and lighting. 

In February, 1862, the discovery was made of the 
magnificent artesian water supply which underlies Christ- 
church, and has since proved such a boon to the com- 
munity. (A reputed discovery of artesian water was 
reported on February, 1858, at Mr. Taylor's brewery on 
the north side of the Avon, but, as the depth at which 
it was tapped was only about twenty feet, it is probable 
that the well sinkers chanced upon a spring.) The 

a = 
fe o r 

O i u 



Town Board obtained a boring plant, and arranged to 
let it out on easy terms to the public, so as to encourage 
well-sinking in the city. The Board also sought pro- 
fessional advice about the probable extent of the water 
table, and Dr. Haast, in his report (July 19, 1863), took 
Mount Herbert as the centre of the volcanic area of Banks 
Peninsula, and estimated the average slope therefrom 
which would gradually decrease as the distance from the 
centre increased. From these premises, he estimated 
that at the Market Place, Christchurch, the volcanic 
rock and lava would be about 500 feet below the surface, 
which would leave ample room for a good artesian supply 
before that depth was reached. 

The first artesian well in Christchurch was at the 
corner of Tuam Street and Ferry Road, and on the 
petition of certain citizens, the Town Board in March, 
1864, marked the spot by building the concrete tank 
which still stands there. 

Mr. W. B. Bray was appointed by the Town Board 
to lay out plans for surface drainage. The general plan 
adopted (June, 1862) was to keep the level of the streets 
below that of the adjoining sections, so that the surplus 
artesian water and the surface drainage could be run 
down the side channels a marked feature in the city of 
to-day. Another feature of the city owes its origin 
to the first session of the Town Board. On August 18, 
1862, a by-law was passed allowing verandahs to be 
placed over footpaths in the city. Lighting was a serious 
matter, and, at a meeting, July 6, Mr. Wilson, a member 
of the Town Board, was responsible for an ambitious 
suggestion to light the city with twenty lamps. By 
the following October, kerosene lamps had been intro- 
duced, and the City Siirveyor was already hinting that 
a Gas Company would pay good dividends. The hint 
was taken, and on May 5, 1863, the Christchurch Gas 
Company was formed. It was then anticipated that the 
Company would be able to supply gas at 20/- per 1,000 


feet. The Gas Company started its active operations 
by lighting its first street lamp on December 24, 1864. 

On November 24, 1862, the Town Board adopted a 
design for its corporate Seal, the same which is in use 
to-day. The Seal was engraved in Dunedin, and formally 
adopted on April 8, 1863. 

Amongst other early records is that of the licensing 
(July, 1863) of the first cab-stand in Christchurch to a 
Mr. Dunn. 

In May, 1868, the city of Christchurch was gazetted 
a Borough, under the Municipal Corporation Act, 1867. 
(which gave power to borrow against rating powers), 
and on June 10, 1868, Mr. William Wilson was elected 
first Mayor of Christchurch. 

Mr. Moorhouse's third term of office was very short 
elected in March, 1862, he resigned in January, 1863. 
He had only retained office in order to see the railway 
affairs into smooth water, and that accomplished, felt at 
liberty to divest himself of responsibility and attend to 
his private business. 


The Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, 
and the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. 

The two institutions whose titles appear at the head 
of this chapter were founded in successive years, and with 
similar objects. Each in its own department strove to 
secure the careful selection of such animals and plants 
as might be introduced to supplement the indigenous 
fauna and flora of the country. 

The Association stood for the commercial side of ac- 
climatisation, the encouragement of the importation of 
pedigree stock, of prize mangolds, selected grasses, and 
other fodder plants. The Society undertook the more 
poetic selection of game and song birds, fish and wild 
animals, also of useful and ornamental trees, shrubs and 

The Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association 
was founded on January 23, 1863, and was the successor 
of two earlier institutions, the first being the Christ- 
church Agricultural, Horticultural and Botanical Society 
founded July 10, 1853, under the chairmanship of Captain 
Simeon. This Society held an exhibition of horses, 
cattle, sheep and pigs, in Market Square on October 6, 
1853, the first show of the kind in Christchurch. The 
second institution, the Canterbury Pastoral Association, 
held its first show of sheep at Mr. Benjamin Moorhouse's 
station at Shepherd's Bush, on the Rangitata, on Sep- 
tember 14, 1859. It seems to have been intended by 
that Association to have held migratory shows at differ- 
ent localities annually, as is done by the Royal Agricul- 
tural Society of Scotland. 


The show at Shepherd's Bush was a great success. 
It was attended by a number of sheep-breeders, who 
marked their appreciation of Mr. Moorhouse's hospitality 
by presenting his infant son (now Dr. B. Moorhouse) 
with 100 ewes. The Canterbury Pastoral Association 
held a second show on August 15, 1860, at Turton's ac- 
commodation house in the Ashburton district. Mr. 
B. Bowling and Mr. E. Fereday were practically the 
founders of the Association, doing most of the organising 
work. Incidentally, it may be added that Mr. Dowling 
won eleven out of the eighteen prizes offered at the 
Ashburton Show. 

On October 22, 1862, a Pastoral and Agricultural 
Show was held in Christchurch, in a paddock north of 
Latimer Square, with entrance from Madras Street. Mr. 
Robert Wilkin was President of this show, which led to 
the formation of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pas- 
toral Association, of which he became the first President. 

The Association purchased fourteen acres of land in 
Colombo Street south, at 120 per acre (the present 
Sydenham Park), and held its first show there oji October 
22, 1863. When the growing importance of the annual 
show necessitated more accommodation, the Association 
moved, in March, 1887, to its present grounds at Adding- 
ton. The Association has always secured the services 
of a strong and influential committee, many of its mem- 
bers being runholders and farmers. It has established 
Herd and Stud Books for cattle and draught horses, and 
by a liberal prize list, has encouraged the breeders of 
pedigree stock. The annual show, held in November, is 
one of the most important events of the kind in 
Australasia. The Association is in a strong financial 
position, and holds its valuable property at Addington 
free from debt. 

The Canterbury Acclimatisation Society was con- 
stituted at a public meeting, held at the Town Hall, 
Christchurch, on April 19, 1864. Mr. F. A. Weld, after- 


wards Sir Frederick Weld, and Mr. Mark Pringle Stod- 
dart were the prime movers in its formation. Mr. Travers 
had also rendered valuable assistance by lecturing on 
acclimatisation. The Superintendent of the Province 
was, ex officio, Patron of the Society, and Mr. Weld was 
elected as its first President. 

Prior to the formation of the Society, private enter- 
prise had been at work. It is not on record who first 
introduced the water-cress, but it is on record that so 
early as June 19, 1857, the Provincial Council passed a 
vote of 1,500 to be expended by the Superintendent in 
clearing the Avon and Heathcote Rivers of this pest. 
Undeterred by this experience, some enthusiastic fisher- 
men subsequently introduced an even worse pest the 
American water-weed which it was expected would 
harbour food for trout. Mr. FitzGerald was one of 
those who had taken a keen interest in acclimatisation. 
He suggested the introduction of salmon into our rivers. 
Writing from London, while he was Emigration Agent, 
to Superintendent Moorhouse (March 18, 1859), he pro- 
posed that instead of sending the fish out in tanks, spawn 
should be sent out frozen. He pointed out that salmon 
cannot live within forty degrees of the Equator, and 
require a water temperatuie of not over sixty degrees. 
From these premises, he inferred that Canterbury and 
Otago, with their snow-fed rivers, might stand out alone 
in the Australasian Colonies as suitable for salmon, and 
that a great industry might be developed. Mr. Fitz- 
Gerald's anticipation has not, so far, been fulfilled. The 
Quinnat salmon has been more or less successfully 
acclimatised, but with the true Atlantic salmon all 
experiments have ended with the hatching of its 
ova and the turning out of the young fish to be no more 

Before the formation of the Society various game and 
other birds were introduced. A pair of English pheas- 
ants, turned out on Banks Peninsula in 1850. throve 


amazingly, and Mr. Brittan made an early, though un- 
successful attempt to introduce the partridge. 

Many of the English song birds were imported in the 
early days of the settlement. Mr. George Rhodes 
turned out the first pair of blackbirds at Purau, and the 
arrival of a family of little ones was duly recorded in 
the papers. A later importation, it is rumoured, was 
less fortunate in its results a consignment of blackbirds 
arrived, but the members of the Society, alas, were no 
ornithologists, and the lighter plumage of the hens caused 
them to be mistaken for thrushes ; so the cock birds were 
turned out in one locality, and the supposed thrushes in 
another, so that they should not interfere with each 
others' nesting arrangements. 

Soon after its incorporation, the Society decided 
(December 29, 1864) to advertise its needs in the Emi- 
gration Office in London. The prices offered for delivery 
in Canterbury were "10 10s. per pair for Black Game, 
or Grouse; 5 for Partridges; 2 for Blackbirds, 
Thrushes, and Larks ; down to 15/- per pair for Sparrows ; 
also 10 per pair for Hares." The inclusion of the 
sparrow in the list of " desirable emigrants " needs expla- 
nation. The country was infested then by vast swarms of 
caterpillars ; they appeared in their myriads about harvest 
time, and marched upon the ripening crops of wheat. In 
a few hours they would eat through every stalk, just 
below the ear, thus stripping the crop and leaving the 
ground littered with the half -ripened grain. Where the 
nature of the soil permitted, some farmers dug water 
trenches round their crops to protect them, but in most 
cases this was impracticable. It was the abundance 
of insect life caterpillars, grasshoppers, grubs and 
beetles which enabled the first pheasants to thrive so 

When the sparrows had "adjusted the balance of 
nature" between the caterpillar and the grain growers, 
they, in their turn, took toll from the wheat fields, and 


in February, 1868, their importation was discontinued. 
Among other early gifts to the Society were silver-grey 
rabbits, from Sir George Grey, Calif ornian quail and 
black swan, the latter given by Mr. Wilkin. Sir George's 
silver-greys were not the only rabbits introduced, and for 
some years they continued to be turned out in various 
localities, and were protected by legislation. The 
Statute Book contains a long series of Rabbit Nuisances 
Acts, beginning with one passed in 1876, but the damage 
done by these animals continued to increase till the early 
eighties, and led to the ruin of many hitherto prosperous 
settlers. Then, in spite of protests from men with prac- 
tical experience, came the introduction of stoats and 
weasels, which were expected to exterminate the rabbit. 
The introduction of such vermin is now generally regret- 
ted. The rabbit nuisance has been brought under control 
by the use of wire netting, poison and by trapping, but 
the damage done by stoats and weasels is increasing. 

The functions of an Acclimatisation Society have, in 
these later times, come to be understood to relate to the 
introducing and rearing of fish, the importation and 
protection of game and other birds or animals, but the 
Society at its beginning had a wider scope, and included 
the vegetable kingdom, from forest trees to flowers and 
grasses within its field of operation. 

The Society started under very favourable auspices ; 
about 600 were privately subscribed, and was supple- 
mented by a Government grant of 1,000 to be used in 
planting and preparing about four acres of the Domain, 
then waste land, as acclimatisation gardens. Here the 
Society established its fish hatcheries. The first trout 
ova, received from Tasmania in 1867, hatched out success- 
fully, and the young trout were turned out into the rivers 
of Canterbury in 1869. They grew rapidly, and when 
fishing was allowed in 1874, the first fish caught 
scaled 9}lbs. Since then trout weighing as much as 
281bs. to 301bs. have occasionally been caught. 


An attempt was made by the Society in 1868 to in- 
troduce the silk industry. The attempt was a failure, 
as it was found that the worms could not stand the fierce 
nor '-west winds which tore across the plains. So far 
as the writer knows the experiment has not been repeated. 
Since then the rigors of these winds have been consider- 
ably abated by the cultivation of the plains, and by the 
extensive area of plantation. The Canterbury climate is 
very suitable for the growth of the mulberry, and it is 
possible the Province may yet vie with the south of 
France as a silk producing country. 

In later years the Society established several herds 
of red deer in the mountainous districts of Canterbury, 
notably the very fine herd in the Rakaia Gorge, and was 
instrumental in turning out chamois amongst the Mount 
Cook ranges. The chamois were presented by the 
Emperor of Austria. 

The bumble bee was introduced about 1885, as it was 
found that the red clover required the assistance of this 
insect to enable it to fertilise its seed. The bee spread 
over the country with extraordinary rapidity, and the 
newspaper columns at the time were full of letters record- 
ing the arrival of bumble bees at distant parts of 
Canterbury. The immediate purpose of its acclimatisa- 
tion was speedily fulfilled, and growing of red clover and 
cowgrass for seed became a profitable branch of agricul- 
ture, but incidentally the bees promoted cross fertil- 
isation of all sorts of flowers and vegetables. An acci- 
dental acclimatisation was that of the Calif ornian Thistle, 
supposed to have been imported with their fodder by a 
troop of Mexican cow-boys. Large sums of money have 
been spent in the attempt to eradicate this pest, but 
lately some pastoralists have asserted that it is a positive 
advantage in sheep country affording good feed, 
particularly in a drought. 

The Canterbury Acclimatisation Society still occupies 
the original site set aside for it by the Provincial Council 


more than fifty years ago. It still continues to turn out 
annually large quantities of young trout into the rivers 
and lakes of Canterbury, which are now well stocked 
with fish. Unfortunately a similar success has not 
attended the Society's effort to protect native game birds 
and to introduce others. 

It must be confessed that a retrospect of the story of 
feathered game in Canterbury makes sad reading. The 
native quail, once thick on the plains, are extinct ; the 
kaka and native pigeon, which swarmed on Banks Penin- 
sula, have disappeared along with the bush ; duck and 
teal are still to be found on Lake Ellesmere, but in sadly 
reduced numbers, and are no longer procurable as food 
for the people; the pukaki, which formerly blackened 
the swamp, is becoming a rare bird. Most of this des- 
truction was possibly inevitable ; grass fires and settle- 
ment exterminated the native quail, and the bush had 
to be fallen and the swamps drained. 

But what has been done to replace the native game 
birds ? We have tried to introduce the pheasant, the 
partridge, the Californian quail, the Australian black 
swan, and lately, the Canadian goose. But, unfor- 
tunately, the introduction of the sparrow has obliged 
farmers to make use of poisoned grain, and stoats and 
weasels have been introduced to kill the rabbits. The 
result is that Canterbury, to-day, is almost depleted 
of game. Whether this difficulty can be made good in 
the future is a question which need not be discussed here, 
but it may be pointed out that in Leadenhall markets 
pheasants are often cheaper than fowls, and would, in 
Canterbury, make a pleasant occasional change even 
from our celebrated mutton. 

The moral of the story of acclimatisation points to 
the very great care which should be laken in selecting 
animal, bird or vegetable life for introduction into a new 



March, 1863-May, 1866. 

The West Coast Gold Fields Opening of first Eailway 
and first Telegraph Line in Canterbury the Main 
South Eailway, and other public works. 

After the resignation of Mr. Moorhouse, there was 
some hesitation about the nomination of a successor; 
there were practically two parties at the time, the Moor- 
house party and the FitzGerald party, fairly equally 
matched. Mr. FitzGerald would have been willing to 
accept another term of office, but declined to risk a con- 
tested election. A requisition was presented to Mr. 
Eobert Wilkin, the President of the Agricultural and 
Pastoral Association, inviting him to announce himself 
a candidate for the Superintendency, but on his refusal, 
Mr. Samuel Bealey, who had headed the requisition to 
Mr. Wilkin, was invited to stand for election, and on 
March 5, 1863, was returned unopposed. It was early 
in Mr. Bealey's superintendency that the vague rumours 
of the discovery of gold on the West Coast began to take 
definite shape. Though not perhaps strictly a part of 
the story of Christchurch, the gold rush to the West 
Coast during 1864 and the succeeding years, was so 
intimately associated with the city, that some reference 
to it is unavoidable. 

To the early settlers, the West Coast of the South 


Island, which lay behind the vast ramparts of the snow- 
capped Southern Alps, was a terra incognita. It was 
a land of mystery and romance ; through its forest glades 
the gigantic moa might still be stalking, among its in- 
accessible mountains might lie a Valley of Diamonds, 
such as Sinbad the Sailor described. Mr. Samuel 
Butler, who lived at Mesopotamia, on the eastern face 
of the great dividing range, felt the spell, and pictured 
the unknown region that lay beyond, as the home of the 
Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, with their quaintly original 
views on religion and morality.* 

The Maoris knew something of the country, but 
jealously guarded its secrets. The finest specimens of 
the much-prized greenstone came from beyond the 
ranges. Mr. Leonard Harper, accompanied by Mr. 
Locke, were the first Europeans to make the traverse. 
Mr. Harper was persona grata with the Maoris, and in 
1857 induced a young Native, Ihaia Tainui, to guide him. 
They crossed near the head of the Hurunui River by a 
saddle which they named Harper Pass. They returned 
with specimens of gold picked up near the mouth of the 
Teremakau River. Other prospectors followed with 
reputed discoveries of gold on the Grey River, as well as 
the Teremakau. Westland was then, and continued 
till January, 1868, part of the Provincial District of 

Fired by the success of the Otago goldfields, which 
had brought wealth and population to the southern 
province, the Canterbury Provincial Council offered a 
bonus of 1,000 to the discoverer of a payable goldfield 
in Canterbury. The bonus was first claimed by Captain 
Thomas Dixon for the discovery of gold in the Tere- 
makau, in December, 1862 ("Lyttelton Times," Decem- 
ber 20). Captain Dixon sent his application overland 
by the above-mentioned Ihaia Tainui, who knew nothing 
of the contents of the letter until after he had delivered 
it. The young Maori then claimed the bonus for himself, 


on the ground that his people were well acquainted with 
the gold deposit and had showed it to Captain Dixon. 
The Rev. T. Stack, of Kaiapoi, supported Ihaia's claim, 
but no award was made. The bonus was afterwards 
claimed by Messrs. Alexander Campbell and Co., in 
October, 1863, for a discovery at Matiri, a tributary of 
the Buller, but was never awarded. 

Harper's Pass, over the Hurunui Saddle, was for some 
time the only overland route to the West Coast; Arthur's 
Pass, discovered by and named after Mr. Arthur Dobson, 
was not practicable until a track could be formed down 
the precipitous sides of the Otira Gorge. 

In January, 1863, Dr. von Haast discovered the Haast 
Pass, leading from the head of Wanaka to the West 
Coast. It is the lowest pass across the Southern Alps 
(1,716 feet), but too far south of the goldfields to be of 
service. During May, 1864, Messrs. Browning and 
Griffith discovered Browning's Pass, from the head of 
the Rakaia to Hokitika, but the difficulties of road- 
making proved so great that the route was not adopted. 

In his opening address to the Provincial Council, the 
Superintendent, on August 11, 1864, referred to the pro- 
bability of important goldfields being opened on the West 
Coast. Mr. Bealey's anticipation was realised, and by 
the following December, a number of men were getting 
payable gold in the Teremakau, and the rush had fairly 
set in. During the next few months, Christchurch had 
a strong attack of " gold fever," and on March 2, 1865, 
the Westland District was officially gazetted under the 
title of the West Canterbury Goldfield, and a warden, 
Mr. George Sale, afterwards Professor of Classics, Otago 
University, and a Resident Magistrate, Mr. W. H. 
Revell, were appointed. 

A practicable road between Christchurch and the West 
Coast was a matter of urgent necessity. The Harper 
Pass route was much too difficult to be of any use for the 
conveyance of merchandise, and it seemed likely that the 

WEST COAST ROAD, 1865. 143 

whole of the trade of West Canterbury would go to Nelson 
by sea. This prospect was not all pleasing to the enter- 
prising business people of Christchurch, and the Gov- 
ernment was asked to form a road. The need for land 
communication was accentuated by the dangerous 
nature of the sea voyage from Nelson. The only harbours 
near the goldfields were the mouths of the rivers, and the 
vessels employed in the trade had to be of light draft to 
enable them to cross the bars. Many lives were lost by 
shipwreck, the small craft going to pieces on these bars 
in attempting to make the ports. 

The Government, therefore, on March 15, 1865, sent 
Mr. Edward Dobson and fifty men to form a road via 
Arthur's Pass and the Otira Gorge. Mr. Dobson took 
with him his son, George, who had recently returned 
from a prospecting visit to the locality, and who fell a 
victim to Burgess' gang of bushrangers in the following 

The road was pushed forward energetically, and on 
July 15, the first West Coast overland mail arrived in 
Christchurch, Messrs. L. G. Cole and Co. being the con- 
tractors. In September, a dray was taken over the 
Otira Gorge, and when in March, 1866, the Superin- 
tendent, Mr. Bealey, visited the Coast, he was able to 
travel in Cobb and Co.'s coach. 

In September, 1865, Mr. Walmsley, an officer of the 
Bank of New South W T ales, was " stuck up " in the West 
Coast bush and robbed of gold, and in consequence the 
Government organised an armed escort to convey the gold 
from the West Coast to Christchurch. The " gold 
escort " was quite a picturesque turn-out, and created 
a small stir as it clattered down the streets of Christ- 
church or Hokitika, reminding people of the early days of 
the Australian diggings, and of the objectionably roman- 
tic gangs of bushrangers by which they were infested. 

After some weeks' drilling the expedition left Christ- 
church for its first journey, on December 4, 1865: a 


strong van, drawn by four grey horses, and manned by an 
inspector, a sergeant and four constables all armed. 
The journey occupied four days each way, and for some 
months the escort crossed and re-crossed the ranges with- 
out misadventure. But the Government enterprise did 
not receive sufficient support from the Banks and other 
gold buyers, and the gold escort was soon discontinued. 

It was in the middle of June, 1866, that Mr. George 
Dobson disappeared on the West Coast. It afterwards 
transpired that he had fallen into the hands of certain 
members of the famous Burgess gang of bushrangers, 
who mistook him for a Mr. Fox, a gold buyer, for whom 
they were lying in wait. They were afraid to let him 
go, and strangled him and hid the body. The gang were 
captured shortly afterwards, and John Joseph Sullivan 
confessed and indicated the place where George Dobson's 
body would be found. The remains were buried at 
Greymouth) between the graves of Whitcombe, the dis- 
coverer of the Whitcombe Pass, and Townsend, both of 
whom were drowned on the West Coast. Burgess, 
Kelly and Levy were executed at Nelson on October 5, 
1866. Sullivan's death sentence was commuted to penal 
servitude for life. 

More than fifty years have gone by since the West 
Coast gold diggings began, and we are still without rail- 
way communication, but as far back as November 21, 
1865, Superintendent Bealey announced to the Provincial 
Council that he had set aside certain lands for a West 
Coast railway. The idea was probably prompted by 
the experience of the Government nearer home, where 
considerable progress was being made in public works. 
The first railway in Canterbury was opened on December 
1, 1863. It was only about four miles in length, and 
ran from Christchurch to Ferrymead, the first link in 
the journey to Lyttelton via Sumner. The line was built 
by Messrs. Holmes and Co., the contractors for the Lyttel- 
ton Tunnel, and was leased for a time to that enterprising 

PUBLIC WORKS, 1865. 145 

firm. Messrs. Holmes and Co. were the very capable 
general contractors to the Government. They also 
built the telegraph line between Christchurch and Lyt- 
telton, crossing the Port Hills by the Bridle Track, 
the first telegraph line in New Zealand, opened on July 1, 

But these undertakings were relatively insignificant 
when compared with the decision of the Government to 
begin building a Main Southern Railway to connect 
Christchurch and Dunedin. The contract for the first 
section, about thirty-six miles, as far as the Rakaia 
River, was signed by Messrs. Holmes and Co. on May 
29, 1865, and ratified by the Provincial Council on June 
1. The contract price for this section was 201,000, of 
which one-half was to be paid in cash, one-fourth in 
debentures, and the remaining fourth in waste lands, 
at 2 per acre. The policy of the Government in dis- 
posing of waste lands in payment for public works was 
severely criticised subsequently. 

The Southern Railway, like the Lyttelton Tunnel, 
was a very bold enterprise, and may well have alarmed 
cautious people. Mr. Rolleston, who was a member of 
the Government, considered that the time was not yet 
ripe for so large an undertaking. He had been away 
on the West Coast when the decision was arrived at, 
and on his return his loyalty to his colleagues kept him 
silent ; but after the Provincial Council was prorogued 
he resigned his seat on the executive. 

In addition to the work on the railway, the Govern- 
ment made important improvements in Lyttelton Har- 
bour, in anticipation of the opening of the Tunnel. These 
improvements were carried out under the advice of Mr. 
Stephenson, and included the two moles (built about 
1864), which remain at the present day. 

The great activity shown in the prosecution of public 
works affords some indication of the general prosperity of 
the Province. 


The term of Mr. Bealey's Superintendence' came to an 
end in May, 1866, and he did not seek re-election. It 
was during his term of office that the foundation of the 
Cathedral was laid, as will be told in the next chapter. 


PLATE 19. 



Founded 1864. Completed 1904. 

The foundation stone of the Cathedral was laid by 
Bishop Harper, on December 16 (Anniversary Day), 1864, 
and with it was deposited a Latin inscription dedicating 
the Cathedral to the Holy Trinity. The clergy and choir 
assembled at St. Michael's Church, and in a steady down- 
pour of rain they marched in procession to the open 
Square. Then, in the heavy rain, the Bishop laid the 
stone, and the choir sang the "Hallelujah Chorus." 

The building of a Cathedral was the central idea of 
the plan of the Canterbury Association, but it is at 
least remarkable that is should have been undertaken 
within fourteen years of the foundation of the settle- 
ment, and while the population of Christchurch only 
numbered 6,423 souls (census December, 1864). The 
building as it now stands is a striking testimony to the 
loyalty of the early settlers to the ideals of the founders 
of Canterbury. 

The original plan of establishing a Cathedral and a 
College together in the centre of the city had been 
changed. It was, indeed, at one time suggested thai the 
Government should use the Cathedral Square site for 
its own offices, but a majority of the Council declined to 
sanction so ruthless a departure from the plans of the 
founders, and in April, 1857, the proposal was defeated. 
Then followed the first Cathedral Square Ordinance, 
passed in December, 1858. Its main purpose was to 
validate the surrender by Christ's College of certain lands, 
comprising rather more than three acres in Cathedral 


Square; the College to receive 1,200 by way of com- 
pensation. At first sight the amount does not appear 
to have been excessive, even at the current value of land 
at the time, but it should be remembered that the College 
also received a grant of ten acres of the Government 
Domain. The ordinance also provided that Colombo 
Street should be carried through the Square, at a width 
of ninety-nine feet, and reserved a site for the Cathedral 
on the western side of this roadway. But at the instance 
of Bishop Harper an amending ordinance was passed in 
November, 1859, transferring the site reserved for the 
Cathedral to the eastern side of Cathedral Square, in 
order that the western, or principal entrance, might face 
Colombo Street. Still another Cathedral Square Or- 
dinance was passed in August, 1864, altering the road- 
way and boundary of the Cathedral reserve, by curving 
the road in front of the site, in order to allow the Cathe- 
dral to be visible from Colombo Street at a distance. 

It was in 1858 that the building of a Cathedral began 
to be looked upon as a work to be then undertaken instead 
of a dim possibility for the future. At a meeting of 
members of the Church of England, held on October 21 
of that year, and presided over by Bishop Harper, it was 
moved by Mr. Justice Gresson, and seconded by Mr. C. 
C. Bowen, " That in order to meet the growing wants of 
the diocese, it is expedient that a central Church or Ca- 
thedral be erected in Cathedral Square, so soon as a sum 
of money, not less than 2,000, has been raised." This 
was a modest estimate of the cost of a Cathedral, but was 
followed up by a grant passed by Provincial Council 
(December 1, 1858), of 10,000 for building and enlarg- 
ing places of worship. The grant was apportioned among 
the various denominations as follows : 

Bishop of Christchurch (Church of England) 7,800 
Acting Head of Wesleyan Church .. 800 

Acting Head of Presbyterian Church ... 1,000 

Roman Catholic Church 400 


From the Church of England grant, .1,000 was set aside 
for the nucleus of a Cathedral Building Fund. This 
amount was supplemented by about 700 which had been 
collected in London chiefly by Mr. FitzGerald while he 
was Emigration Agent. 

Mr. George Gilbert Scott was asked to prepare plans 
in London. Mr. Scott was recognised as the greatest 
ecclesiastical architect of the day he afterwards became 
Sir Gilbert Scott in recognition of his work in designing 
the AlBert Memorial. It is somewhat characteristic of 
the pioneers of early Canterbury that, just as before 
undertaking the Lyttelton Tunnel, they procured advice 
from the greatest living engineer, so now with their 
Cathedral, they followed a similar course in the selection 
of an architect. 

It was not till towards the end of 1862 that any serious 
attempt was made to collect funds for the building. The 
movement began at a meeting of parishioners of St. 
Michael's to discuss the necessity of greater seating ac- 
commodation. It was then suggested that instead of 
enlarging St. Michael's, a Cathedral Church should be 
begun. The plans were available, having arrived from 
London. The idea was taken up with enthusiasm, and 
by the end of the year the fund had grown to 10,000, 
subscribed or promised, and by April, 1863, to 15,000. 

The superintending architect, Mr. Robert Speechly, 
who had been chosen by Mr. Scott, in London, arrived 
at Lyttelton on September 10, 1864. By that time, the 
site had been levelled, and all was ready for a start ; 
good, hard shingle was met with at a depth of about 
twelve feet, and a contract was let for the foundations. 
According to the original design, a great deal of the 
interior work, such as the piers, triforium and clerestory, 
was to have been in wood, but, in accordance with a later 
request, Mr. Scott sent out by Mr. Speechly amended 
designs in stone, which were adopted. 

Writing to Mr. Selfe, on September 15, 1864, just 


after the arrival of Mr. Speechly, Dean Jacobs remarked 
that " the delay, so hard to bear at the time, has been 
the means of securing two solid and permanent ad- 
vantages, which would otherwise have been lost, namely, 
the improvement of the site by the advancement of the 
west front to a point a little beyond the line of the 
houses in Colombo Street, and by the diversion of the 
road and the carriage of traffic so as to leave an open 
space in front, and, secondly, by the substitution of 
stone for timber in the construction of the interior." 

But the story of the Cathedral did not end with the 
laying of the foundation-stone ; there were many dif- 
ficulties still to be surmounted before the complete 
Cathedral could be consecrated on All Saints' Day, 1904. 
Perhaps it will be more convenient to tell the story in 
this chapter, rather than allow the reader to gather it 
piecemeal from the records of forty years. 

The foundations were completed in 1865, and absorbed 
all the funds then available. It so happened that about 
that period a wave of commercial depression swept over 
Canterbury, and any attempt to collect further funds 
had to be abandoned, and for eight years Cathedral Square 
presented a melancholy spectacle, a target for the 
scoffers. It was during that period that various pro- 
posals to sell the site were put forward and seriously 
entertained. The City Council wished to acquire it, 
and on November 4, 1869, Mr. J. S. Williams (afterwards 
Sir Joshua Williams) moved, in the Synod, that the 
Cathedral site should be sold, and that the proceeds should 
be used to build a Cathedral on the site of the Church of 
St. Michael and All Angels. The discussion was long, 
and continued at an adjourned meeting on November 8, 
and the motion was only rejected by a small majority. 
The same question cropped up in 1871, when on July 21, 
the Synod, again by resolution, declined to part with the 
Cathedral site. The following year, the Provincial 
Council was desirous of purchasing the property, and. 


by resolution (December 10, 1872) decided to offer the 
Synod a sum not exceeding 10,000 for it; an offer 
which the Synod declined in February, 1873. At last, 
on September 2, 1873, the Synod found itself in a position 
to continue the building, and invited tenders for the 
construction of the nave with a temporary chancel. 

Mr. Speechly had left Christchurch, and Mr. B. W. 
Mountfort had been appointed superintending architect. 
Thanks to the generosity of the Rhodes family, it was 
also possible to proceed with the Tower and Spire. The 
Tower was the gift of the late Mr. R. H. Rhodes, in 
memory of his brother, Mr. George Rhodes, and the 
Spire was presented by the children of Mr. George 

The late Mr. Mountfort has been sometimes criticised 
for "improving on Scott" in the design of the Tower, 
and it is only fair to state the circumstances. The 
original design for the Tower and Spire, as drawn by Sir 
Gilbert Scott, was of severe simplicity, almost devoid of 
ornamentation, and it was at the request of the Cathedral 
commission, and of the donors of the Tower, that Mr. 
Mountfort prepared amended designs, the chief alteration 
being the balconies, which besides being considered 
ornamental, afforded a fine view from the base of the 
Spire. The plans were sent home to Mr. J. C. Scott, who 
had succeeded his father, Sir Gilbert Scott, on the death of 
the latter. In his covering letter, Mr. Mountfort inquired 
if Mr. Scott had any " objection to offer to my proposals, 
as I should not wish to put anything into the work, from 
respect to your father, to which he might have objected." 

From 1873 onwards the construction went on con- 
tinuously, partly by contract and partly by day labour, 
and the building was consecrated on November 1, 1881. 

Next month, December 5, 1881, occurred the first of 
the three earthquakes which damaged the Spire. No 
great damage was done on that occasion, but a stone was 
dislodged about fourteen feet below the cross, and fell 


on the pavement of Cathedral Square. A more serious 
earthquake took place on September 1, 1888, when the 
cross fell, and remained suspended by its iron ties,, 
bringing down with it about thirty feet of masonry. 
According to expert opinion, the damage was occasioned 
by the form of construction. The heavy cross was. 
attached to an iron rod, which for thirteen feet was 
embedded in solid masonry, and then connected with a 
strong iron plate. Four other iron rods were attached 
to this plate, and anchored some distance lower down 
the Spire. The result was too great rigidity to stand 
a severe shock of earthquake. The solid iron cross was 
replaced by a lighter one made of hollow copper, gilded 
and set like the pendulum of a grandfather's clock, with 
a weight and chain attached, which, it was hoped, would 
swing undamaged in any shock of earthquake. Fire- 
brick was the material selected for the construction of 
the upper portion of the Spire, as being more elastic than 
stone, and the new Spire built on these principles, was 
completed August 6, 1891, when Bishop Julius laid the 
topmost stone, making an adventurous ascent in a basket 
for the purpose. 

Ten years later, another earthquake occurred, Novem- 
ber 16, 1901, this was the shock which centred at 
Cheviot. The Spire was again rendered unsafe. It 
was the brick work this time that proved too brittle and 
broke away, and for the second time, the Spire had to 
be taken down, and a new form of construction devised. 
The material then adopted for the upper portion was 
Australian hardwood, sheathed with copper, which has, 
so far, stood all tests. All the expenses of these 
operations were borne by the Rhodes family. 

Returning once more to the main story of the Cathe- 
dral, the western porch was built in 1894, after which 
matters remained at a standstill till the Jubilee year of 
Canterbury, when a determined effort was made to collect 
funds for the completion of the Cathedral. 


PLATE 20. 


Mr. C. J. Mountfort had now succeeded his father as 
supervising architect, and on December 8, 1901, a tender 
was accepted for the construction of the Transepts. The 
crusade to raise funds was carried on with such vigour 
and success, that by January 28, 1902, the Synod was 
able to undertake the whole work of completion, instead 
of making the construction of the Transepts a first instal- 
ment. The work was finally consummated, when on 
November 1, 1904, the completed Cathedral was 

A few particulars may be of interest. The approxi- 
mate cost of the fabric was as follows : 

Foundation, etc. ... ... 7,526 

Building over foundation ... 50,525 
Tower and Spire, original cost 6,531 
Western Porch 1,000 

Total ... 65,582 

These figures were supplied by the courtesy of Mr. C. J. 

The grey stone, of which the outer walls are con- 
structed, came from the Cashmere and Hoon Hay Quar- 
ries on the Port Hills. It is said to be of similar quality 
to the stone used in Cologne Cathedral. 

There is a peal of ten bells ; eight of them were given 
by the late R. H. Rhodes, and two by the late E. W. P. 
Miles. There is a quaint story about these bells. They 
were being rung for the first time, and Dean Jacobs, who 
was walking with a friend, was roused to enthusiasm at 
the sound, and tried to express his delight. After three 
unsuccessful attempts, his friend shouted in his ear, 
"No, Mr. Dean, it is no use, those confounded bells are 
making such a din that I can't hear a word you say." 

The Selwyn Memorial pulpit, depicting scenes from 
the life of Bishop Selwyn, is a beautiful work of art, 
carved in a variety of Canterbury stone; and the Harper 


Memorial cenotaph, commemorating the memory of the 
first Bishop of Christchurch. is also a very fine piece of 
work. It was designed by Mr. W. J. Williamson, of 
Esher, Surrey. 


PLATE 21. 



Election of Mr. Moorhouse as Superintendent The 
Waimakariri Visits of Sir George Grey and of Lord 
Lyttelton Resignation of Mr. Moorhouse Election 
of Mr. William Rolleston Visit of H.R.H. The 
Duke of Edinburgh. 

The elections of a new Superintendent and Provincial 
Council were held in May, 1866. The Superintendency 
was keenly contested, the chief opponents being Mr. W. 
S. Moorhouse and Mr. fl. P. Lance, the latter represent- 
ing the squatters' interest. Mr. W. T. L. Travers also 
was a candidate, but the contest really lay between the 
two first-named, and resulted (May 30) in the easy victory 
of Mr. W. S. Moorhouse for his fourth term of office. 
The first session of the new Provincial Council was opened 
on October 19, when Mr. H. J. Tancred was elected as 

About this time Christchurch was seriously threat- 
ened by the vagaries of the Waimakariri River. 

The Canterbury Plains are crossed from west to east 
by three snow rivers, which rise far back among the 
glaciers of the Southern Alps. In their upper reaches 
each is a mountain torrent rock-bound in places 
carrying along in its impetuous career vast quantities of 
shingle and silt, and rolling great boulders along its 
course. On reaching the plains the streams divide and 
spread, and the flow of the water is moderated, allowing 
the silt to settle, and giving the shingle and boulders 


time to accumulate. The result is tliat the bed of the 
river is gradually raised until it becomes higher than 
the surrounding country. Then some day, when the 
river is in high flood, the current breaks its bounds 
and chooses another channel to the sea. The danger 
is increased by the introduction of gorse, which 
grows freely on the riverbeds, and soon becomes firmly 
rooted and able to impede the travelling shingle. The 
Waimakariri a Maori name, meaning " The Water of 
Winter," i.e., cold water, is the most northerly of 
the three rivers. In bygone ages it followed many 
channels, and there is evidence that a branch once flowed 
through Christchurch. Its present channel passes 

about seven miles north of the city, but it must be of 
comparatively recent formation, for the shingle it carries 
in its upper reaches has not yet reached the sea. 

In a later chapter will be told how the "harnessing 
of the Waimakariri " became a catch phrase in Christ- 
church, and a proposal to utilise the power of the river 
for the production of electricity was enthusiastically sup- 
ported, but in the quite early days the river was simply 
regarded as a dangerous obstacle to travellers, causing 
many deaths by drowning, liable to sudden freshes when 
the north-west wind blew, and a warm rain melted the 
snow at its source. To provide for the safety of 
travellers a ferry was established, but was somewhat 
intermittent in its operations. For instance, on April 
23, 1856, an election for a Christchurch Member of Par- 
liament had to be put off, because the Returning-officer 
(Mr. C. C. Bowen) was across the Waimakariri, and the 
punt ropes had been carried away. Later on "White's 
Bridge " was built and opened. 

In the late fifties and in the sixties, the fear was that 
the Waimakariri would desert its new channel and usurp 
that of the Avon, and so pass through Christchurch. It 
was this fear that prompted Mr. Crosbie Ward to write 
("Canterbury Rhymes," I860): 


" Christchurch lies a little low. 

Hey, hey, the level o't : 

Above the tide a foot or so 

Hey, hey, the level o't. 

And when about the town you go. 

Sundry indications show 

That here a river used to flow, 

Hey, and that's the - - o't." 

Alarm was first caused by a flood in February, 1859, 
and an engineer, Mr. Albert Beetham, was sent to in- 
vestigate, but no practical steps were taken. As the 
river continued to threaten danger, the Provincial 
Council, in August, 1863, appointed a committee to advise 
what measures of precaution would best meet the case. 
In discussing the report of this committee (September 
29, 1863), Mr. Templer deprecated interference with the 
river, which was breaking northwards, lest any alteration 
of its course should bring it nearer Christchurch. The 
Provincial Secretary, Mr. T. W. Maude, promised that 
the Engineer should be sent to inspect, but added, signi- 
ficantly, that if it became" a question as to whether 
Kaiapoi or Christchurch would have to go first, he would 
certainly give Kaiapoi the preference. 

In the ensuing month of October constant reports of 
damage and of land being washed away were received. 

After that, for a few years, the river remained quiet, 
but on October 12, 1866, a more serious flood occurred. 
Mr. E. Dobson, the Provincial Engineer, was sent to 
inspect, and his report, dated October 17, 1866, was not 
encouraging. He found that the "Waimakariri had 
broken through its bank about seventeen miles from 
Christchurch, and was likely to cause considerable 
flooding, both in the Fendalton River and in the Avon, 
during the freshes. He did not apprehend any im- 
mediate danger of the main body of the stream coming 
down the Fendalton River, but as the Waimakariri was 
setting strongly against the south bank, it was probable 


that in a few years, by the scouring of the shingle, a very 
considerable portion of the river would return to its old 
channel and flow through Christchurch. Mr. Dobson 
gave it as his opinion that any attempt to divert the river 
would, even if possible, be a work of great expense and 

For two years the matter remained in abeyance, but 
on February 5, 1868, the greatest flood yet experienced 
began and continued for a day or two. The Avon was 
greatly affected. There were two feet of water at the 
Post Office parts of Cathedral and Market Squares were 
submerged the bridges were in great danger Oxford 
and Cambridge Terraces were, in places, three to four 
feet under water. On February 12, 1868, a report was 
made defining the protection works required, but it was 
then found that it would be ultra vires for the Provincial 
Council to proclaim by ordinance a district over which 
to impose a rate for such works, and it would be neces- 
sary to bring in a Bill in the General Assembly con- 
stituting a Board of Conservation with the necessary 
rating powers. 

Dr. James Hector, the Provincial Geologist, was asked 
to advise, and his report, dated June 20, 1868, was to 
the effect that there was reason to believe Christchurch 
was in imminent danger, and that the works then in 
existence were quite inadequate for its protection, but 
that means could be adopted, at moderate cost, tending 
to greatly reduce the risk, or, at any rate, reduce the 
probability of damage. Dr. Hector added that there was 
no reason to believe that the permanent channel ever 
passed through Christchurch, and that the inundation 
was due to flood water escaping through the right bank 
of the river, and trouble was caused by the draining of 
swamp land, and the construction of surface drainage, 
which enabled the whole volume of storm-water to find 
its way rapidly into the river, instead of being absorbed 
by the extensive swamps, where it was gradually 


disposed of by percolation aud evaporation. There were 
two gaps which were points of danger, one leading to 
the head of the Avon, the other to the head of the Styx. 
It was by way of the former that the recent flood had 
come to Christchurch, and by a comparatively small 
expenditure, involving the construction of an embank- 
ment less than half a mile in length, both gaps could be 
closed. Dr. Hector suggested that the city could be 
further protected by constructing a storm-water channel 
to take flood-water from near the Carlton Bridge, along 
the North Belt, and back into the river near the cemetery, 
and so in effect diverting a body of water which would 
otherwise flow through the city. 

During the session of the General Assembly which 
followed, the "Canterbury Rivers Act, 1868," was 
passed, empowering the Provincial Council to set up 
Boards for river protective purposes, with rating powers 
over areas likely to be affected. By resolution of the 
Provincial Council, December 8, 1868, the above Act 
was brought into operation over certain lands on the 
south side of the Waimakariri. The Board was gazetted 
on February 12, 1869, and consisted of the Mayor of 
Christchurch (ex officio), and five other members. The 
constitution of the Board was amended by the "Rivers 
Board Act, 1884," and subsequent amendments. The 
Board consists, at the present time, of nine members, 
elected by the ratepayers of nine sub-districts. It 
collects its rates through the various local bodies. 

During the later sixties Christchurch entered on 
a period of depression, and for some years there is little 
that need be recorded. 

His Excellency Sir George Grey visited Christchurch 
in January, 1867, after an interval of fifteen years. Time, 
and perhaps, the absence of his old antagonist Mr. 
Godley, had smoothed over the ancient feud, and Sir 
George, who was cordially received, made pleasant refer- 
ence to the marked improvement he saw in Christchurch, 


comparing the city with the Ugly Duckling in Hans 
Andersen's fairy tale. 

Another visit worth recording was that of Lord 
Lyttelton, who, as Chairman of the Canterbury Associa- 
tion, had done so much to found .Canterbury. He 
arrived in Christchurch on January 25, 1868, accompanied 
by his son, the Hon. G. S. Lyttelton, and by Mr. Selfe 
Selfe. Mr. G. S. Lyttelton was one of the great cricket- 
ing brothers, famous in the annals of Eton, and while in 
Christchurch gave a taste of his quality, making 104 
runs, and taking seven wickets in the first innings of a 
match in which he played for the United Canterbury 
Cricket Club against the Albion Club. 

The party stayed with various friends in Canterbury, 
and Lord Lyttelton has left on record his impression of 
the settlement in the form of two lectures delivered after 
his return Home. 

There was about that time a strong movement in 
favour of the separation of the two main islands of New 
Zealand, occasioned partly, no doubt, by the difficulties 
of communication, and partly by the different condition 
of the countries separated by Cook Strait. The South 
Island, free from the native difficulty and from the neces- 
sity of clearing bush lands, was progressing much more 
rapidly in settlement than was possible in the North 
Island. The Provincial Council, on March 17, 1867, 
passed a resolution in favour of a separate Government 
for each Island. 

Two days before the prorogation of the Provincial 
Council, Mr. Moorhouse, on April 7, announced his in- 
tention to resign the Superintendency. He had neglected 
his private business, which needed attention; moreover, 
these were times of depression ,; wheat had fallen in 
value, and the revenues of the province were not in a 
buoyant condition, and the Council, with its shrinking 
revenue, could not support the forward policy so dear to 
the Superintendent. 


Mr. C. C. Bowen received a requisition to stand for 
the Superintendency, and, on his declining, Mr. William 
Rolleston was returned unopposed on May 22, and, on 
June 9, was elected as member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives for Avon. 

About the time that Mr. Rolleston assumed office, the 
Canterbury railways were at last being taken over from 
the contractors. This involved responsible work, not 
only in the adjustment of the accounts, but also in the 
organisation and administration of the open lines. Mr. 
John Marshman, who had formerly been the Emigration 
Agent in London, was made Secretary for Railways. In 
a letter written to Mr Selfe, dated September 6, 1868,* 
he said: 'They" (the contractors) "have sweated the 
Government severely. I admire them for it, shrewd, able 
men, pleasant men personally, and not one, but several 
too many for those who are dealing with them." Xo 
doubt Messrs. Holmes and Co. wasted few opportunities 
of making money, but in return they brought to bear a 
strength and capacity in dealing with their contracts 
which were invaluable to the province. 

A story is told of Mr. Marshman when he was Secre- 
tary of Railways. A farmer had telegraphed him that 
his grain would be ready on Tuesday, D.Y., and that he 
wanted trucks sent. Mr. Marshman telegraphed in 
reply: " Yes, but if D. does not V., who pays demurrage 
on my trucks ? ' ' 

It was on April 22, 1869, that Christchurch welcomed 
her first Royal visitor, H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, 
who arrived in H.M.S. "Galatea." The visit had been 
planned for the previous year, but had been postponed, 
owing to the attempted assassination of His Royal High- 
ness in Australia, which necessitated the Duke's return 
to England to recover from the bullet wound. While 
in Christchurch, the Duke planted the Prince Alfred oak 

*Tn tho Horken Library, Dunedin. 


opposite the Hereford Street entrance to the Domain, 
which still stands as a memento of his visit. Hearing 
that it was proposed to plant other trees, His Royal 
Highness volunteered to plant them too, and, in walking 
across the Domain for the purpose, it is recorded that he 
sprung three pheasants, which were then becoming 

The abolition of provinces was then becoming a live 
question, and in May. 1869, a resolution in its favour, in 
the Provincial Council, was defeated only by four votes 
(10-14). Westland had in January, 1868, been separated 
from Canterbury, and in opening the Provincial Council, 
October 8, 1869, Superintendent Rolleston announced the 
umpire's decision in the allocation of debts between the 
two provinces, viz., Canterbury, 465,831; Westland, 
207,036; the proportion being Canterbury 9 to West- 
land 4. 

On the completion of his term of office, Mr. Rolleston 
was challenged for the Superintendency by Mr. Moor- 
house. The election took place on May 2, 1870, and 
resulted in an easy victory for Mr. Rolleston, who there- 
after retained the position unopposed till the abolition 
of the provinces. Mr. Moorhouse left Canterbury a few 
months afterwards to take up the position in Wellington 
of Registrar of Titles, under Ihe Land Transfer Act. 



The Museum The Southern Railway The New Zealand 
Shipping Co. Canterbury College. 

The Canterbury Museum was opened on October 1, 
1870, its successful establishment so early in the history 
of the province being due to the untiring energy of Dr. 
von Haast, who became its first Director. Probably it 
is in connection with the Museum that Sir Julius von 
Haast is best remembered, but Canterbury has cause to 
be grateful to his memory for many other services ; those 
in connection with the Moorhouse Tunnel have already 
been referred to, but his work runs like a warp and woof 
through the early history of Christchurch, as an 
explorer, geologist, man of science, and in the valuable 
assistance he was able to give to the Acclimatisation and 
Philosophical Societies. At a meeting of the Colonial 
Society, in August, 1859, presided over by Dr. Donald, 
a resolution was passed in favour of establishing a Natural 
History Museum, and the following year Mr. von Haast, 
as he then was, came to Canterbury, bringing a collection 
of mineral and other specimens, which he had formed 
while travelling with Dr. von Hochstetter. 

Dr. von Haast became Provincial Geologist, and 
his collection of 6000 or 7000 specimens was lodged 
in two rooms in the north-east corner of the Provin- 
cial Council Buildings. The time came when the 
rooms were required for other purposes, but after 
calling for designs for a Museum in October, 1864, 
the Provincial Council allowed the subject to drop 


for some years. It was re-opened in 1868, when the 
sum of 800 was placed on the Estimates to provide 
a wooden building. Those members of the Council who 
looked upon the Museum as an unnecessary luxury, suc- 
ceeded in defeating the grant on the ground that the 
collection was too valuable to be risked in so inflammable 
a structure. Mr. Montgomery, who was then head of 
the Executive, met the objection by proposing and carry- 
ing a grant of 1,200 for a stone building (December, 
1868.) The Council also voted 150 for show cases, and 
the grant was supplemented by a sum of 483 11s. from 
voluntary contributions. A design, submitted by Mr. 
W. B. Mountfort, was selected, and the Museum was 
built to accommodate the collection, which then num- 
bered 7,887 specimens. Besides such grants of money 
as the Provincial Council might pass, and generous gifts 
from many supporters, the Museum benefited greatly 
from a somewhat unusual natural endowment. It was 
in 1866 that the first great deposit of Moa bones was 
discovered at Glenmark. Single skeletons had fre- 
quently been met with at various places in both islands ; 
one, for instance, was discovered fifteen feet below the 
surface by workmen engaged in excavating foundations 
for the Heathcote Bridge, in October, 1862, but the 
Glenmark discovery was something different, an accumu- 
lation of Dinornis remains packed closely together, which 
could literally be measured by the waggon load. What 
was probably the first discovery at Glenmark was 
recorded in the " Lyttelton Times," of January 14, 1857. 
Some of Mr. G. H. Moore's men were cutting a drain 
through a peat swamp, and found three Moa skeletons 
in good preservation, two of them of great size. The 
report in the newspaper went on to say that "The lower 
joints of these two birds appear to be imbedded perpen- 
dicularly in the blue clay, as if they had sunk beyond 
their power of extrication, and the upper part of their 
frames were found in the peat, which covered them 


PLATE 22. 


entirely. The position of the remains leads to the idea 
that these birds had all sought shelter from fire under 
the steep hill, at the spring there, and were overtaken 
by the fire before recovering from their state of 

The explanation suggested seems probable, and would 
account for the two great deposits at Glenmark and 
Waimate, each in heavy swamp land. The discovery of 
the three specimens at Glenmark was followed up by 
more important "finds " on that estate, and Dr. von Haast 
in his " Geology of Canterbury and Westland," tells how 
he, in December, 1866, went there at the invitation of 
Mr. G. H. Moore. His host generously presented the 
bones already discovered to the Museum, and supplied 
labour for further excavations, with the result that Dr. 
von Haast returned with a large American four-horse 
waggon loaded with bones. In August, 1867, and again 
in 1872, other visits were made, and further large and 
valuable collections of Dinornithic remains obtained. 
Dr. von Haast was not slow in realising the " exchange 
value" of this extraordinary find. The Dinornis was 
an extinct bird, peculiar to New Zealand, and nowhere 
except in Canterbury could its well-preserved bones be 
dug up from peat swamps in quantities sufficient to fill 
four-horse waggons. The bones were sorted and as- 
sembled into skeletons, with as nice a regard for individ- 
uality as circumstances permitted, and many of the 
skeletons so obtained were exchanged with European and 
other Museums to the great advantage of the Canterbury 

The Director of the Museum was well qualified for this 
work ; he was probably the best known scientist in New 
Zealand, and was in correspondence with the foremost 
scientific men of the times, such as Professors Darwin 
and Tyndall, Dr. Hooker and others, who were interested 
in the geology, flora and fauna of these islands. Indeed, 
it is said that one of the Provincial Councillors 


querulously inquired who the Dr. von Haast might be 
" who, as I hear, is using his position as Canterbury's 
geologist, to build up a European reputation for himself." 

In later years, another great "find" of Moa bones 
was made near Waimate, in South Canterbury. In this 
instance, also, the skeletons were found closely packed 
together in a swamp. Captain F. W. Hutton, who was 
then Curator of the Museum, took charge of them, and by 
his application and study in their classification, made 
himself, probably, the greatest living authority on the 
Dinornis, with the possible exception of Mr. Richard 
Lydekker, F.R.S., of the British Museum. 

The Museum and Library were vested in a Board of 
Trustees, of whom the Superintendent, his Honor the 
Judge, the Provincial Secretary, the Provincial Solicitor, 
the Speaker of the Provincial Council, and the Chief 
Surveyor, were members, ex officio, sitting with other 
nominated members. 

By a later ordinance of the Provincial Council the 
control of the Museum was handed over to the Canterbury 
College Board, then recently constituted. It is entirely 
supported by provincial endowments, and has benefited 
by numerous generous gifts, both of money and speci- 
mens. The Philosophical Institute, in its early days, 
made frequent grants of money, and the late Mr. George 
Gould gave the greater part of the statuary, as well as 
making other presentations. The Museum also received 
a generous contribution of specimens from Captain 
Scott's first Antarctic expedition, as well as from that 
led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. Another unique gift 
was that of the largest skeleton of a whale to be found 
in any Museum. The whale, of the species known as 
Balaena Sibbaldei, or Blue Whale, was stranded on the 
Okarito Beach, on the West Coast of New Zealand in 
1906, and it was due to the energy of Mr. Edgar Stead, 
of Christchurch, and Mr. Robert Turnbull, of Welling- 
ton, backed by private subscriptions, that this enormous 


specimen was secured and transported to its present 
position. It may be added that the whale, when found, 
was in an advanced state of decomposition, and that the 
task of "taking it to pieces" was not a pleasant one. 
The skeleton is estimated to weigh about nine tons, the 
jaw-bones are twenty-one feet in length, and the entire 
skeleton measures eighty-seven feet in length. 

Sir Julius von Haast died in 1887, and was succeeded 
by Mr. J. Forbes, who resigned in 1892, and Captain F. 
\V. Hutton was then appointed Curator, a position which 
he held with great advantage to the Museum until his 
death in 1905. During his term of office, besides his 
important work in connection with the Waimate find of 
Moa bones, he undertook the systematic classification 
and orderly arrangement of the mass of material collected 
by Sir Julius von Haast. Subsequent Curators have 
been Mr. Edgar R. Waite, F.L.S., and the present holder 
of the office, Mr. Robert Speight, M.S.C., F.G.S. 

It is due primarily to the untiring energy of Sir Julius 
von Haast and the discovery of the Moa bones, and 
secondarily to the systematic industry of Captain F. W. 
Hutton, that Christchurch now possesses a Museum 
which can probably bear comparison with that of any 
city in the world of similar size and age. 

Canterbury, in the early seventies, was going through 
a transition state, and the following extract, taken from 
"The Melbourne Leader," of April, 1871, gives the 
impression of the Christchurch of that day formed by a 
friendly critic: 

" A nice, clean, comfortable, well-ordered, square city 
is Christchurch. . . Everything is green-looking and 
English-like in and around Christchurch. Green hedges, 
green fields and lofty green poplar trees, with artesian 
wells here and there, are the features of Christchurch. 
To that add the best hotels in the Colonies old English- 
looking houses, well-built, and cosy and comfortable, 
with the best of beds and nicest kept tables. The houses 


are mostly wood built, the streets clean and well kept. 
So are all the people. It is easy to see that they are 
well-selected, first-class immigrants related, no doubt, 
many of them, to good families in England. 

" A fine high road runs from Christchurch to Duiie- 
din a three days' cruise upon wheels. ... At six 
o'clock on a gloriously fine morning in midsummer, we 
got a seat beside the driver on a fine old English stage 
coach, a real old stage, with four fine horses. It was 
Christmas time, and what with that and the stage coach, 
we thought that time had travelled backwards for once, 
and that we were boys again, and going home for the 
Christmas holidays. It says something for the .place we 
were leaving that we could leave it with such feelings. 
There is something of the school and of all its proprieties 
about Christchurch ; but if we ever turn Quakers, we 
shall, of all the places we know, go back to live there 
as to a large Society of Friends." 

Evidently the old leaven of the Canterbury As- 
sociation had not worked out. But the old coach- 
ing days were drawing to a close, at least, on the 
Canterbury Plains. The Main South Railway line 
was creeping onward to meet another line which was 
advancing from Dunedin (through railway com- 
munication between Christchurch and Dunedin was 
opened September 6, 1878) ; and on April 29, 1872, 
the Superintendent formally opened the Northern Rail- 
way as far as Kaiapoi. This line, like the Lyttelton- 
Christchurch Railway, and the first section of the Main 
South line, was a broad gauge railway, five feet three 
inches in width. On the initiation of Mr. VogeFs Public 
Works Policy, in 1870, the present narrow gauge was 
adopted as a standard for New Zealand, and the broad 
gauge Canterbury lines were converted accordingly, and 
the rolling-stock sold to go to Australia. Mr. Dobson, 
the Provincial Engineer, strenuously opposed the change. 


and would have liked to have seen the broad gauge 
adopted as the general standard. 

Not only were land communications progressing, but 
on November 20, 1872, the prospectus was issued of the 
New Zealand Shipping Company, Ltd., and was followed 
up by the foundation of that important Company in 1873. 

The New Zealand Shipping Company was founded 
entirely by Christchurch merchants, and its inception was 
mainly due to the enterprise of Mr. J. L. Coster, then 
Manager of the Bank of New Zealand. Its headquarters 
were then at Christchurch, and its fleet consisted entirely 
of sailing vessels. 

During the first three years of its existence the Com- 
pany despatched 150 ships from the United Kingdom to 
New Zealand, carrying 28,670 passengers. The first 
direct steamer, the " Stad Harlem," sailed from London 
in 1879, but it was not till 1883 that the first line 
of direct steam communication between England and 
New Zealand was inaugurated by the New Zealand Ship- 
ping Company. The first steamer of that service, the 
"British King," sailed from London on January 26 of 
that year. As the business grew in importance, it 
became necessary to obtain British capital, and the 
headquarters of the Company were removed to London. 
Soon after the opening of steam communication, the 
development of the frozen meat trade became of import- 
ance, and necessitated the building of a new fleet, with 
very great insulated space. Mr. H. P. Murray-Aynsley 
is Chairman of the Christchurch Board of Directors, a 
position he has held since 1893. (He was first elected 
Chairman in 1887, but retired the following year in favour 
of Mr. Leonard Harper.) 

The Provincial Council, on June 16, 1873, passed the 
Canterbury College Ordinance, a very liberal measure 
"to make provision enabling all classes and denomina- 
tions of Her Majesty's subjects resident in the Provincial 
District of Canterbury, and elsewhere in the Colony of 


]N"ew Zealand, to procure a regular and liberal course of 
education, and with that- intent to establish and incorpor- 
ate a College within the said Province." Prior to the 
passing of the Act, there had been in existence a body 
called the Canterbury Collegiate Union, which had pro- 
vided instruction in classics, mathematics, modern 
languages and certain branches of science. Mr. C. C. 
Bo wen was President, and Rev. C. Eraser, Secretary of 
this Union in 1872. The new Ordinance was designed 
to continue and extend the work of the Union, and for 
that purpose, it incorporated Canterbury College and 
appointed a Board of Governors, including the Right Rev. 
H. J. C. Harper, the Bishop of the diocese. The Pro- 
vincial Council voted money for the purchase of a site 
for the College, and the erection of buildings. 

In the preceding year, the Provincial Council (January 
15, 1872) had requested the Superintendent to set aside 
an area " not exceeding in the aggregate 100,000 acres of 
purely pastoral land as an endowment for a School of 
Technical Science, and the other educationary purposes 
contemplated by the ' Canterbury Museum and Library 
Ordinance, 1870,' " and the Superintendent had accord- 
ingly reserved three blocks of land for the purpose, hav- 
ing a total area of 87,000 acres. Other endowments 
were made in later years, e.g., on April 13, 1875, a Crown 
grant of several blocks of rural land, totalling 218,950 
acres "as an endowment for schools of technical science 
and agriculture, and for the promotion of superior educa- 
tion," was placed in the hands of the Superintendent. 
During the following year, 1876, these lands were trans- 
ferred to Canterbury College. Again on August 16, 
1875, various parcels of land, aggregating 8,089 acres, 
reserved under Acts of 1854 and 1862 as endowments for 
a classical school, were placed under the control of 
Canterbury College. There were other endowments 
made later for special purposes, such as an area of 5,000 
acres reserved by proclamation on December 27, 1877, 


"as an endowment for the maintenance of the Medical 
Department or Faculty of Canterbury College." The 
College, not possessing a medical school, this endow- 
ment was afterwards applied to the maintenance of a 
biological laboratory. Additional endowments were 
provided during 1878 for Boys' and Girls' High Schools, 
the endowment for the latter being 2,578 acres. 

The areas that have been mentioned are the principal 
endowments of Canterbury College, though they are by 
no means a complete list ; they indicate that the educa- 
tional plan of the Canterbury Association was not lost 
sight of during the days of the Provincial Council. 

By an amending Ordinance, passed in 1873, the pro- 
perties and the control of the Museum and Public Library 
were vested in the Board of Governors of Canterbury 
College. The Museum has been mentioned earlier, but 
it may be well to explain here how the Public Library 
came to be associated with the College. The plan of 
Christchurch , as originally drawn, provided a site for 
a Mechanics' Institute, and as early as the middle of 
1852, an effort was made to raise by public subscription, 
the money required to realise this portion of the plan 
of settlement. The attempt was not successful, and it 
was not until seven years later, in May, 1859, that a 
public meeting, held in Christchurch, appointed trustees 
and officers for a Mechanics' Institute, which was opened 
in temporary quarters in August of that year. The 
site that had been provided by the founders of the settle- 
ment was no longer available, but the Provincial Govern- 
ment agreed to make a grant of 500 in lieu of the land, 
and the trustees used a portion of the money to buy the 
section at the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Hereford 
Street, occupied by the present Public Library. An 
additional sum of 650 was raised by the issue of shares 
at 5 each, and a small building was erected. 

During 1868, the name of the Institute was changed 
to " The Christchurch Literary Institute," in recognition 


of the fact that the library had outgrown its original 
sphere. The next step was the transfer of the land, 
building and library to the Superintendent of Canter- 
bury, " upon trust for the purpose of a public library, to 
be established and maintained under and in pursuance of 
the provisions of the ' Canterbury Museum and Library 
Ordinance, 1870.' ' The transfer was subject to a pledge 
that the Institute would be maintained "in accordance 
with the usual and recognised standard of a public 
circulating library and reading-room." 

Another part of the original plan of the Canterbury 
Association was realised on July 19, 1880, when the 
Governors of Canterbury College opened an Agricultural 
College at Lincoln. This College was separated from 
the parent institution by Act of Parliament on 
January 1, 1897, and is now administered by a separate 
Board of Governors, one member being appointed by the 
Governor, three members elected by Canterbury members 
of Parliament, and three by the Agricultural and Pastoral 
Societies of the Province. 

At the present time, the Board of Governors of 
Canterbury College has control of Canterbury College 
(the first block was opened in 1877) ; the Girls' High 
School (opened September 13, 1877) ; the Boys' High 
School (opened May 18, 1881); the School of Art 
(opened March 1, 1882) : the School of Technical Science 
and Engineering (opened about 1890) ; and the Museum 
and Public Library. 

Of these institutions, perhaps the School of Engi- 
neering alone calls for special comment. Each of the 
four large cities of New Zealand specialises in some form 
of education. Auckland, until recently, had its School 
of Mines, and has now a School of Commerce ; Wellington 
has its School of Law and Jurisprudence, Dunedin its 
Medical School and Mining School. Christchurch has 
its important School of Engineering, one of the three 
outside Great Britain recognised by the British Institute 


of Civil Engineers. The other two so recognised ure 
Sydney University and the M'Gill University (Canada). 

The Canterbury College Buildings are all in the 
Gothic style of architecture ; they are built of a handsome 
hard grey stone from local quarries ; the doorways, win- 
dows, cornices and other features of the buildings are of 
white stone, and the combination is very effective. The 
first block of buildings, including the College Hall, was 
designed by the late Mr. B. W. Mountfort, and sub- 
sequent additions have been in keeping with the 
original design. It is a pity that more use should not 
be made of the small-leaved Virginian Creeper instead 
of so much ivy in covering these buildings the tender 
green in spring and the glowing crimson of its autumn 
foliage would both harmonise with the grey buildings. 
Many of the Oxford and Cambridge Colleges are effec- 
tively draped with the various varieties of ampelopsis. 

Under its present constitution, three members of the 
Board of Governors of Canterbury College are appointed 
by the Governor, three are elected by Canterbury mem- 
bers of Parliament, six by graduates, three by teachers 
and three by school committees, and one is elected by 
the Professorial Board. The present Chairman is Mr. 
J. C. Adams, B.A., and the staff includes ten professors, 
four lecturers, with about fifteen assistants, demonstra- 
tors, etc. 


Abolition of Provinces The four Superintendents. 

With the abolition of Provincial Government, an im- 
portant chapter of the History of Christchurch came to 
an end. The Act was passed by the Hon. Daniel Pollen's 
Ministry, but as Dr. Pollen had his seat in the Legis- 
lative Council, it devolved upon Major (afterwards Sir 
Harry) Atkinson to pioneer it through the House of 
Representatives. The third reading was passed (Sep- 
tember 29, 1875) by a majority of forty to twenty-one. 
Included in the minority was Mr. William Rolleston, 
then Superintendent of Canterbury, who opposed the 
measure at all points. There was practically no opposi- 
tion in the Legislative Council, and on October 12, 1875, 
the Bill became law, and came into operation on Novem- 
ber 1, 1876. 

Many years later, on March 7, 1894, a veteran Canter- 
bury statesman, Sir John Hall, K.C.M.G., testified to the 
splendid work done by the Canterbury Provincial Council. 
The occasion was almost dramatic, Sir John Hall, in the 
evening of his life he was then seventy years of age 
was bidding a final farewell to his constituents. It was 
the close of a political career which had extended over 
more than forty years. During that time he had filled, 
amongst many other public positions, those of head of 
the Provincial Executive of Canterbury, and of first 
Chairman of the Christchurch Town Board, and of Prime 
Minister of New Zealand. Speaking then, with the 
weight and authority of such experience, and with the 
detachment of one about to pass out of the area of party 
politics, he briefly reviewed the work of the Canterbury 
Provincial Council: "I think," he said, "the work 


done in the old Provincial days, and the men who did it, 
deserve to be held in grateful recollection. The admin- 
istration, at whose head were men like FitzGerald, Sefton 
Moorhouse and William Rolleston, was characterised by 
honesty, ability and intelligent dealing with the difficult 
circumstances of a new country. I was a member of 
the first Provincial Council, and of the last. Most of 
my old colleagues have long since passed away. They 
would have done credit to any Legislature. Perhaps 
their parliamentary education would nowadays be con- 
sidered incomplete. In their days ' stone-walling ' was 
unborn, and deliberate obstruction was an unknown art. 
Men of ordinary physical powers could do their duty 
with satisfaction; and the whole proceedings of the 
Council would compare favourably with those of the 
august body to which we now look for political salvation. 
It has been well said that the history and character of a 
Government may be read in the monuments which it 
leaves behind. When we consider what our Canterbury 
Provincial Government has left behind, especially in the 
matter of public works when we look at the roads, 
bridges, harbour works, and even railroads, by which 
the province was opened up ; when we look on the large 
immigration which was secured ; on the liberal education 
system which was erected, and on the fact, which statis- 
tics prove, that in proportion to our available agricultural 
area, a larger amount of actual settlement was secured, 
and more agricultural produce was raised than in any 
other part of the colony, we are justified in believing 
that the days of the Provincial Government were some 
of Canterbury's best days. It has been said, and I think 
with truth, that no part of the Colonial Empire, unaided 
by mineral wealth, ever made more rapid progress in solid 
and permanent settlement than did Canterbury in the 
days of its Provincial Government. I will only add 
that if the work of. other provinces had been as well done 


as that of Canterbury, provincial institutions might have 
remained in existence to the present day." 

It has often been asserted that at the abolition of the 
provinces, Canterbury was made the milch cow of the 
colony. This is, perhaps, not the place to discuss that 
question, but in justice to the founders of Canterbury 
the Canterbury Association, and the Superintendents and 
Provincial Councillors who succeeded the Association in 
authority some comment on the oft-repeated statement 
may fairly be offered. Canterbury had adopted Mr. 
E. G. Wakefield's theory of "sufficient price" for land, 
i.e., dear land in comparison with other parts of the 
colony. While under Sir George Grey's regulations, 
land elsewhere was selling at 10/- or less per acre, Can- 
terbury settlers had to pay at first 3, and later on 2. 
The result was that the Provincial Council of Canterbury 
was a comparatively wealthy institution. Now, if we 
turn to Major Atkinson's Financial Statement of July 
31, 1877 (Hansard, Vol. 24, p. 112), the first Financial 
Statement after the abolition of provinces, we find that 
Canterbury alone of the provinces was made to. contribute 
a sum, 56,000, to the Public Works Fund for railways 
(p. 113). A little further on, we find the illuminating 
passage: " Since the 1st of January, when the Financial 
Arrangement Act came into force . . . the (land) 
sales in Canterbury show an enormous excess (over the 
estimate), while the sales in Auckland, Taranaki, 
Hawke's Bay, Westland and Otago have proved to be 
less by 83,000 than the sum estimated." (p. 118.) 

Again later on (p. 120) Major Atkinson enunciated 
two propositions, (1) that the land funds should be 
localised ; (2) that the cost of immigration, roads and 
bridges was a proper charge against the land funds. 
Apparently, however, these propositions were to be modi- 
fied in the present case, for the Colonial Treasurer pro- 
ceeded to say (p. 123) : " We recognise that at the 
present moment the refund of the. charges" (for the 


opening up and settlement of the country) " is beyond 
the immediate power of the less wealthy districts ; but, 
as respects the Provincial Districts of Canterbury and 
Otago, no such argument can be urged." The meaning 
of the passage quoted seems to be that as Canterbury 
had been provident enough to build up out of its land 
sales a fund to pay for reading, bridging and other local 
purposes, and as other parts of the colony had not been 
so provident, and had parted with their lands at 10/- per 
acre to speculators, therefore Canterbury, which had 
saved its cake, should share it with other provinces which 
liad been less careful. 

If we turn now to a table (p. 125) containing an 
estimate of the receipts and expenditure of the Land 
Fund for the year 1877-78 for the nine provinces, we 
iind a somewhat startling proposition. In six of the 
provinces, it was proposed to expend 82,052 9s. lOd. in 
excess of the amount raised from land sales, licenses, 
rents, etc., within these provinces. In the other three 
provinces, it was proposed to spend 528,369 9s. lOd. 
less than the moneys received. The details of the latter, 
omitting shillings and pence, are as follow : 

Auckland Canterbury Otago 

Estimated receipts from 
land sales, licenses, 
rents, etc. ... ... 120,500 338,800 295,100 

Estimated expenditure .. 118.880 123,173 182,977 
Surplus 1,620 215,627 112,123 

120,500 338,800 295,100 

That is to say, it was proposed to expend 215,627 of the 
land revenue of Canterbury in opening up the lands of 
other provinces and for the general purposes of the 
Central Government. 

But, striking as are the estimates of the then Colonial 
Treasurer, the outcome was even more so. The total 
land revenue from the nine provinces for the first six 
months of 1878 was 650,068, out of which 458.965 


came from Canterbury, this province thus providing more 
than two-thirds of the land revenue of the colony. The 
proportion was more than maintained during the second 
half of the year, and in its report for the twelve months 
ended June 30, 1878, the Crown Lands Department 
stated : 

"For the twelve months there have been sold of 
Town Lands 467 acres, Suburban 2,023 acres, and Rural 
828,336 acres. Cash received 1,450,251; scrip 
27,228. Of this Canterbury Provincial District re- 
presents no less than 554,169 acres rural sold to 4,151 
purchasers, and 95 acres of town lands sold to 377 pur- 
chasers, realising a total of 1,123,823, or, if stated 
fractionally, seven-tenths the area sold, nearly seven- 
tenths the number of purchasers and nearly eight-tenths 
of the cash realised for the whole of the colony. The 
more immediate causes of this are : the Crown lands in 
this district are all open for selection, the extension of the 
railway system over the plains, the bridging of the large 
rivers, and practically their annihilation as obstacles to 
traffic, and the arable lands brought either actually or in 
prospect within easy reach of a railway station. These 
facilities and the remarkable advances which have been 
made lately in agricultural machinery the double- 
furrow plough and the reaping machine have con- 
verted the level, grassy plains, which a few years ago 
seemed destined for ever to graze sheep, into wheat- 
fields for the London market." 

So far the relative positions of the provinces have been 
considered merely from the standpoint of land revenue, 
of which Canterbury contributed more than seven-tenths 
of the whole amount. We may now turn to the assets 
and liabilities taken over by the General Government 
from the separate provinces. The whole position is 
clearly expressed in a comprehensive statement prepared 
by the Treasury in Wellington, and dated August 28, 
1878. The following figures are taken from that 


statement* Canterbury and Otago were the sole pro- 
vinces possessing railways. The lines were taken over 
by the General Government, the values being, Canterbury 
731,759, Otago 372,522. After these amounts had 
been credited to the provinces concerned, the net provin- 
cial liabilities assumed by the General Government were 
summarised thus: 

Auckland 1,019,581 

Taranaki ... ... 112,477 

Wellington ... ... 500,697 

Hawke's Bay ... ... 119,779 

Nelson ... ... 267,838 

Marlborough ... ... 32,192 

Canterbury ... ... 70 

Westland ... ... 340,490 

Otago ... ... 1,191,621 

Total ... ... 3,584,745 

Canterbury, with a net liability of only 70, had to take 
its share in shouldering liabilities of more than three 
millions and a half incurred by the other provinces. The 
province, it must be remembered, already possessed, 
besides its tunnel (part of the cost of which had been 
paid out of revenue) a considerable mileage of open rail- 
ways, and more in course of construction. The com- 
paratively great advancement of the province was due 
not only to the natural facilities for development offered 
by a flat country, free from bush and from- native com- 
plications, but also to the prudence of its founders in 
establishing, and in maintaining in the face of great 
opposition, the "sufficient price" of land, to enable 
development to be carried on side by side with settlement. 
Let it be added that this chapter is not intended to 
re-open any alleged grievances of Canterbury. The 
abolition of provinces may have been a necessary develop- 
ment of the colony as soon as facilities of communication 
made it possible. What has been written here is intended 


solely to secure recognition of the pioneer work of 
Edward Gibbon Wakefield, carried out faithfully by the 
Canterbury Association under John Godley, and after- 
wards defended by Mr. J. E. FitzGerald, Mr. Henry 
Sewell and others. 

In concluding the story of the Provincial Council 
days of Canterbury, it seems fitting to insert a few notes 
on the four Superintendents who guided the destinies of 
the province during that most critical period. 

Mr. James Edward FitzGerald was an Irishman, the 
possessor, perhaps, of the most brilliant and versatile 
personality of any of the founders of Canterbury. 

To use an Irishism, he started his New Zealand career 
in the Canterbury Association rooms at the Adelphi in 
London. It was there that he took the lead first, and 
drafted and carried the somewhat exclusive constitution 
of the Society of Land Purchasers. He sailed in the 
'* Charlotte Jane," which also brought Mr. Charles 
Bo wen and Dr. Barker and his family to Lyttelton. 
On the voyage out, Mr. FitzGerald wrote " The Night 
Watch Song of the 'Charlotte Jane, 7 " the -first of the 
' r Canterbury Rhymes ' ' : 

" 'Tis the first watch of the night, brothers, 

And the strong wind rides the deep; 
And the cold stars shining bright, brothers, 

Their mystic courses keep. 
Whilst our ship her path is cleaving 

The flashing waters through, 
Here's a health to the land we are leaving, 

And the land we are going to!" 

Mr. FitzGerald's landing in Lyttelton the first of 
the pioneers to step ashore has already been described. 
There is a story which may be apocryphal that Dr. 
Barker was in the bow of the boat and about to land ; in 
doing so, he bent forward and unconsciously presented 
a "back," over which Mr. FitzGerald promptly leaped. 
The story is not confirmed, but it is given as being 


characteristic of the man, whose ready Irish wit missed 
few opportunities. 

On arrival in Canterbury, Mr. FitzGerald became the 
first Editor of the " Lyttelton Times," and, amongst 
other activities, performed the duties of Immigration 
Agent and Police Inspector for the settlement. 

His career as first Superintendent of Canterbury has 
been described elsewhere. He was also a member of 
the first House of Representatives and the first Premier 
of New Zealand in 1854, and it was greatly owing to his 
stand in its favour that responsible government in its 
present form was established in 1856. In that effort, 
he was ably supported by Mr. Henry Sewell. 

After the term of his Superintendency expired, he 
went to London, as Immigration Officer for Canterbury, 
and on his return in 1861, founded the "Press" news- 
paper. For some years later, he remained in politics, 
but afterwards took the position of Controller of the 
Public Accounts, an appointment which he still held at 
the time of his death in 1896. Of him it may be said 
that he was a real orator, and a brilliant writer, pos- 
sessing great gifts from which much was expected. 

Mr. William Gisborne, in his "New Zealand Rulers 
and Statesmen," described him thus: "A thorough 
Irish gentleman, he was, like his countrymen, quick, 
impulsive, witty and winning in manner and conversa- 
tion. There were no rising statesmen of the day in New 
Zealand of whom greater expectations were formed. The 
pity of it is that those expectations were not fulfilled. 
In politics, Mr. FitzGerald has been a brilliant failure; 
his Parliamentary career has been the flash of a meteor 
dazzling for the moment, but leaving no lasting trace 
behind. . . . Had he possessed more persistency of 
purpose, he would, if he had devoted himself to Imperial 
politics, have attained one of the highest positions." 

"Punch" in Canterbury, published in 1865 some 
provincial biographies; in one of them playful reference 


was made to the versatility of the first Superintend- 
ent. He was described as having "left Great Britain 
to its fate at the early age of nineteen, finding that the 
affairs of the Old Country were altogether unattractive, 
and its resources almost exhausted. He, therefore, 
embarked for New Zealand, where he practised, day by 
day, his various professions of Law, Medicine, Architec- 
ture, Lecturer on Constitution, and general representa- 
tive of the working classes." 

Probably Mr. FitzGerald reached the zenith of his 
career and popularity the day that he drove his tandem 
over the far-famed Sumner Road. 

Whatever disappointment may be felt at the failure 
of his later career to come up to the rosy anticipation 
of his many friends, early Canterbury owed much to the 
energy, ability and enthusiasm which he brought to 
bear in his brilliant youth to help to mould the destinies 
of the young settlement. 

Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse, the second Super- 
intendent, arrived in Canterbury in 1851, but was tempted 
away for a time to the Victorian goldfields, then recently 
discovered. He returned to Christchurch in 1853, and 
took a prominent part in supporting Colonel Campbell in 
opposition to Mr. FitzGerald in the election of Super- 
intendent for that year. 

On the retirement of the first Superintendent, Mr. 
Moorhouse became a candidate for the position, his op- 
ponent being Mr. Joseph Brittan. The latter was a 
good speaker, and had been prominent in Canterbury 
affairs, having occupied the position of Provincial Secre- 
tary. Mr. Moorhouse made up for what he lacked in 
oratory by other qualities he was strong and tenacious, 
of the bull-dog breed, a good organiser and canvasser, 
and, after a hard struggle, he defeated his opponent 
by a substantial majority. 

There could hardly have been a greater contrast 
between any two men than that between the first two 


Superintendents of Canterbury. Mr. Moorhouse, by 
profession a lawyer, was a big, strong, determined 
man, without much imagination, but a practical 
colonist with sound and progressive business in- 
stincts. His name has come to be indelibly associated 
with the Lyttelton Tunnel. He was not the originator 
of the idea, but having once taken it up, he drove it 
through all obstacles, material or political, with the full 
force of his character and vitality. 

As Gisborne said of him: "He showed ability, 
enterprise, foresight, courage and perseverance in work- 
ing a great idea into a great fact." 

During his later term as Superintendent, he was 
always an advocate of extending and still further extend- 
ing the railways of Canterbury, and so played an import- 
ant part in the settlement of the province. 

The Canterbury "Punch," in its provincial bio- 
graphies, published in 1865, from which an appreciation 
of Mr. FitzGerald's versatility has already been quoted, 
has this to say of Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse : " An 
eminent jurist, navigator, navvy and statesman, who has 
also distinguished himself in the horse-dealing and 
engineering sciences. The precise date of his birth is 
not known, but it is probable that he will be borne in 
triumph at the opening of the Lyttelton and Christchurch 
railway tunnel, through which he was able to see several 
years before the rest of the world. It is easier to say 
what this extraordinary genius is not than what he is. 
He is not Superintendent, but he has been so; he is not 
an able seaman, but he has been one ; he is not a Resi- 
dent Magistrate, nor a Justice of the Peace, nor a navvy, 
nor a member of the General Assembly, nor an editor, 
nor a digger, nor a shipowner, but he has been each and 
all of these." 

"Punch" also furnished him with a crest, a loco- 
motive with steam up, and a motto " Holus bolus; let us 
a loan." 


As a member of the House of Representatives, he, 
with other Canterbury members, assisted to force the 
transfer of the seat of Government from Auckland to 
Wellington an important matter in those days of dif- 
ficult communication. He retired from Parliament in 
1870 to become Registrar-General of Lands in Welling- 
ton an office which he held till 1872, and after that 
was again a member of the House of Representatives. 
He died in Wellington, in September, 1881. His statue 
faces the Hereford Street entrance of the Domain 

Of him the ' ' Encyclopaedia of New Zealand ' ' said : 
"He was the forerunner of Sir Julius Vogel in his Im- 
migration and Public Works policy, and his energy and 
zeal enabled Canterbury to lead the way in these respects 
for the rest of New Zealand." 

Mr. Samuel Bealey, the third Superintendent of Can- 
terbury, was born in Lancashire in 1821, and, after 
taking his Degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, he 
came out to Canterbury in 1851 , and took up land in con- 
junction with his brother, Mr. John Bealey. He was a 
member of the first Provincial Council, and held office 
in Mr. John Hall's first Executive, in 1855. 

On the resignation of Mr. Moorhouse, in January, 
1863, a requisition was signed by Mr. Bealey and others, 
and presented to Mr. Robert Wilkin, asking him to 
stand for the Superintendency. Mr. Wilkin, however, 
declined, and Mr. Bealey was then urged to come forward 
himself, and on March 5 was returned unopposed. 

Mr. Bealey 's election seems to have been a compro- 
mise between the Moorhouse and FitzGerald parties. The 
latter gentleman would not have been averse to another 
term of office, but stipulated as a condition that he should 
not be opposed. 

The new Superintendent had not the brilliant abilities 
of Mr. FitzGerald, nor had he the driving force of Mr. 
Moorhouse; he was, however, a man of education and 


sound judgment, and many years afterwards, Sir John 
Hall, at. the Jubilee Celebrations of Canterbury, 1900, 
paid a tribute to the shrewd common sense and cool- 
headedness which enabled Mr. Bealey to grapple with the 
difficulties of the first gold rush to the West Coast then 
part of Canterbury which occurred during his Super- 

The record of his term was one of quiet progress; 
some considerable improvements, for instance, were made 
in Lyttelton Harbour, but there is no striking event with 
which Mr. Bealey's name is connected. He was not one, 
in short, who sought the limelight of publicity, and if, 
therefore, the least picturesque of Canterbury Superin- 
tendents, he left behind him a record as a good office 
man and safe administrator. After his term of office 
he was succeeded by Mr. Moorhouse, and retired into 
private life, returning to England to educate his family. 
He died on May 8, 1909. 

The Hon. William Rolleston, the last of the Canter- 
bury Superintendents, was a son of the Rev. George 
Rolleston, M.A., vicar of Maltby, Yorkshire, and was 
born in September, 1831. He was a Foundation 
Scholar of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he 
graduated with classical honours in 1855, and arrived 
in Lyttelton in the " Regina," in November, 1858. 

Mr. Rolleston became Provincial Secretary in 1863, 
and succeeded Mr. Moorhouse as Superintendent in 1868, 
an office which he continued to hold till the abolition of 
provinces in 1876. 

His advent into office was marked by a temporary 
cessation of the activity that had characterised the Public 
Works policy of Canterbury during Mr. Moorhouse's term 
of office. Canterbury land revenue was no longer buoyant, 
and Mr. Rolleston assumed office as the representative of 
the party of caution, who had been alarmed at the rapid 
growth of the Public Works Account in the Provincial 
Budget. Three years before, in 1865, he had resigned 


from the Executive Council because he considered the 
time premature for the contract then entered into for 
the construction of the Southern Railway. 

Mr. Rolleston was one of the foremost New Zealand 
statesmen of his time, and his services to the colony in 
education, land legislation, and many other fields, cannot 
be adequately described in the short space here available. 
It is to be hoped that while material is still obtainable, 
someone will be found to write his life, and do justice 
to the part he played in the history of the Dominion. 

Soon after his arrival in Canterbury, he took up a 
run near Lake Coleridge, and the Rolleston Range bears 
his name and perpetuates his memory. He, it was, who 
bestowed those classic names on the Acheron and Rubi- 
con Rivers, on Mount Algidus and Mount Olympus in 
the upper water of the Rakaia River. 

Later on, he bought a farm in South Canterbury near 
the mouth of the Rangitata, where he died in February, 

There was a very general desire to recognise the services 
which Mr. Rolleston had rendered to Canterbury and to 
New Zealand, and a meeting was called for this purpose 
on March 18, 1903. At that meeting, the Hon. C. C. 
Bo wen paid a fine tribute to the services of his old friend, 
but added that the desire to perpetuate his memory was 
"not altogether on account of his great ability and in- 
dustry although they were remarkable enough. Nor 
was it owing to the long experience Mr. Rolleston was 
always ready to devote at all times to the country. It 
was because the people had a conviction of his absolute 
singleness of purpose in regard to the public services, and 
the utter absence of self-seeking when dealing with 
public affairs." The meeting resolved to erect the 
statue which now stands in front of the Museum, which 
Mr. Rolleston opened thirty years before. It was un- 
veiled by another old friend of Mr. Rolleston's Sir 
John Hall on Mav 26, 1906. 

The last of the Canterbury Superintendents. 

PLATE 24. 

P S 





After the abolition of provinces Retrospect The freez- 
ing process, and its effect on Canterbury The West 
Coast Railway. 

The Abolition of Provinces Act came into operation 
on November 1, 1876, and, with the disappearance of 
the Provincial Council of Canterbury, went the last 
definite link of the connection of the city of Christchurch 
with its founders, for the Provincial Council was itself 
the lineal successor of the Canterbury Association. 
Henceforward the control of all the provinces of New 
Zealand was to be vested in one General Government. 

The occasion seems fitting for making a short retro- 
spect of the progress already accomplished. The 
foundation of Canterbury is generally dated from De- 
cember 16, 1850, and nearly twenty-six years had elapsed 
since the arrival on that day of the first of the pilgrims. 
In the interval, representative Government had been 
established ; the city of Christchurch had been laid out 
and placed under its own municipal control. The 
settlement had its own Bishop, and had laid the founda- 
tions of its Cathedral Church. It had established Christ's 
College, and had, in Canterbury College, the Public 
Library and Museum, made provision for the higher 

Outside the boundaries of the city the settlement had 
made similar progress rivers had been bridged, roads 
and railways constructed. Communication with the 
port had been established, first by the old Bridle Track, 


then by the Sumner Road, and finally by railway through 
the Moorhouse Tunnel. Thus had the lands been opened 
up, and opportunity afforded to the country settlers to 
perform their important part in the work of colonisation. 

In one respect, the original plan of the Canterbury 
Association had not been realised. The settlement was 
no longer exclusively Church of England. Even before 
his departure, Mr. Godley had recognised this, and had 
found it necessary to abandon any religious qualifica- 
tions, and to open the flood-gates to the general human 
tide which swept into the channel opened by the Canter- 
bury Association, but, as he said in his farewell speech, 
he was not sure that the reality was not better than the 

Perhaps a comparison may fairly be made between 
the settlement of Canterbury and that of New England. 
It was also from Plymouth Sound that the " Mayflower" 
sailed in September, 1620 a tiny vessel of 180 tons, 
taking nine weeks to cross the Atlantic. The pilgrims 
she carried were inspired by strong religious belief. 
They were staunch Puritans, but unlike the Canterbury 
Pilgrims, they were seeking a new home free from the 
persecutions they had undergone in the Home Country. 
Apart from this feature, there was a strong resemblance 
between the two expeditions each was to found a 
religious settlement in a new country, only roughly 
explored. In each case, the character of the pilgrims had 
a lasting effect on the community which followed them, 
and in each case those who came later did honour to the 
pioneers. "Forefathers' Day," December 11, is still 
observed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, just as is in Can- 
terbury our Anniversary Day, on December 16. And 
in the years to come, it may be that the descendants of 
the Canterbury Pilgrims will secure the brevet distinc- 
tion which in America has attached itself to "Mayflower" 

With the abolition of provinces, then, the story of the 


Foundation of Christchurch may he said to have closed. 
From now onwards the story is like that of any other 
colonial city, sharing in the progress and prosperity of 
the agricultural and pastoral community settled in the 
country behind it, a story of ups and downs, as the lean 
years of depression are followed by seasons of prosperity, 
but in the main, a record of great advancement. 

Hitherto the stream of Christchurch story has flowed 
between fairly well-defined banks, from the time when 
it rose bright and sparkling from the springs at its 
source. Like other rivers, it gathered strength and 
volume as it flowed onwards towards the sea, but, to 
continue the analogy, after the abolition of provinces, 
the river had reached the plains, and, like many Can- 
terbury rivers, it broke into numerous channels, full of 
eddies and cross currents, sometimes separate, but often 
mingling, dividing and sub-dividing. These channels 
were continually changing, and spread like a tangled 
skein across the plains. In other words, the pioneering 
days were over, and the city, in its fuller life, had 
broken up into separate communities, religious, educa- 
tional, political, scientific, social, pastoral, agricultural, 
industrial, journalistic and others. This story, like the 
river, must therefore now enter on a new phase, and 
instead of attempting to follow each separate channel, 
will merely describe some of the landmarks on the banks 
of the wider river. An apology is perhaps required for 
the use of so hackneyed a metaphor ; its introduction is 
intended to prepare the reader for the different methods 
of treatment which will be adopted in succeeding chap- 
ters; the story as a consecutive narrative has ended, 
and in the pages that follow an attempt will be made to 
present the main features of some of the more important 
events* of later years, and to discuss some of the wider 

'For information on minor events the reader i& referred to 
the Table of Events, which, for greater convenience, has been 
placed in the Appendix. 


questions in which the people of Christchurch have been 

With the abolition of provinces, Canterbury and the 
rest of New Zealand embarked on a new phase of political 
life. The outlook of its statesmen and politicians was 
changed, and became focussed on the promotion of the 
interests of the colony or of the party rather than on 
those of the separate provinces. Whether the change 
was beneficial or otherwise need not be discussed ; in 
any case it was a complete subversion of the political 
history of the country. 

It may fairly be claimed that the introduction of the 
freezing process caused an equally important alteration 
in the commercial, agricultural and pastoral development 
of the colony, and in no province more markedly so than 
in Canterbury. The effect was gradual; it took time 
on the Canterbury runs to replace the merino flocks with 
cross-bred sheep. The dairy industry required years 
to develop ; the fruit industry cannot yet be considered 
to be fully established. It cannot be doubted that the 
advance in the exports of New Zealand, from about six 
million sterling in 1881, to about thirty million sterling 
at the present time, is very largely due to the freezing 
process. Side by side with the increasing productivity 
of the colony, there naturally followed a corresponding 
increase in land values, in shipping tonnage, in freezing 
and dairy factories, and in fact, in all branches of 
commerce and industry. 

The late seventies and early eighties were years of 
commercial depression in Canterbury, but a new era 
dawned, when, on February 18, 1881, Messrs. Patrick 
Henderson and Co.'s ship " Dunedin " sailed from Port 
Chalmers, chartered by the New Zealand and Australian 
Land Co., Ltd. She carried the first shipment of frozen 
meat to leave New Zealand, 5,000 sheep, of an average 
weight of 851bs. She arrived in London on May 24, 


after a passage of ninety-six days, and the meat realised 
6d. to 7d. per Ib. 

The difficulty of dealing with surplus stock had long 
been a problem for the sheep-farmer. Some of the com- 
paratively early files of the Canterbury newspapers con- 
tain numerous suggestions of various forms of meat 
preserving. The possibility of the freezing process was 
recognised in very early times. Mr. FitzGerald, it may 
be remembered, writing from London in 1859, had sug- 
gested sending out salmon ova frozen, and ten years 
later, in 1869, a certain Mr. Pestle, of Victoria, had 
written to the Melbourne papers, suggesting the ship* 
ment of frozen meat to London. At that time, the 
ammonia freezing process had recently been discovered. 

Although the honour of having pioneered the New 
Zealand frozen meat trade must be accredited to Otago, 
Canterbury has since outstripped the southern province 
in the quantity and quality of the stock shipped, and 
the name of the province has acquired a world wide 
significance as denoting the best quality, and command- 
ing the highest price. 

The pioneer company in this province the Canter- 
bury Frozen Meat Co., Ltd. was incorporated in 1882. 
The conveners of the first meeting were Messrs. John 
Grigg, John Tinline and J. Macfarlane, and it. was due 
primarily to the energy of Mr. Grigg that the necessary 
capital was obtained, and the "Belfast" works were 
opened in 1883. Mr. Grigg, besides being chairman of 
the Company for the first eighteen years of its existence, 
threw himself into the enterprise with his accustomed 
vigour, and chartered several vessels at his own risk. 
He was not deterred by a loss of about 10,000 owing 
to the breakdown of the refrigerating machinery 
on the "Mataura." His son, Mr. J. C. N. Grigg, 
was then in residence at Cambridge, and entertained 
the University Eight at dinner. The piece de resist- 
ance was a fine saddle of mutton, to which his guests 


all in hard training did full justice. At the 
conclusion of the feast, the host occasioned a good deal 
of astonishment by announcing that the saddle had come 
from his father's farm in Canterbury, New Zealand. 

The writer recollects visiting the Belfast works in 
1884, and being told that the Company could deal with 
as many as three hundred sheep a day, and it was then 
considered doubtful if the flocks of the province could 
continue to stand so heavy a strain. Times have changed 
since then, and not only has the Canterbury Frozen 
Meat Co. established two other works, at Fairfield (near 
Ashburton), and at Pareora, but another company, the 
Christchurch Meat Co., Ltd., founded in 1889, owns 
works at Islington and at Smithfield, near Timaru, be- 
sides other freezing factories outside Canterbury, and in 
addition to these, two more freezing works are now in 
course of erection. 

The industry gives employment within the province to 
approximately 2,500 hands, and, in addition to the value 
of the meat exported, a very large return is now gained 
by the scientific treatment of the various by-products. 

It is not to be supposed that the inception of the 
industry was free from difficulty. The first shipments 
realised extraordinary high prices, such as those already 
quoted. The result was that many farmers gave up 
grain growing and went in almost exclusively for raising 
mutton and lamb. Two things happened, there was a 
glut of sheep in Canterbury, with which the freezing 
works were unable to cope, and, owing to prejudice or 
some other cause, there was a slump in the London mar- 
kets. Mr. John Bradshaw, in his " New Zealand of 
To-day," published in 1888, says that hoggets off the 
shears, which in 1882 were readily saleable at 12/-, 
realised in 1887 barely 6/-, and that the wholesale price 
of mutton had fallen by fifty per cent, accordingly. From 
the same source is taken the following table, which 


indicates the important part taken by New Zealand in 
the start of the frozen meat trade. 


New Ri^er Falkland 

Zealand Australia. Plate. Islands. 

1883 ... 120,893 63,677 17,165 

1884 ... 412,349 111,745 108,823 

1885 ... 492,269 95,091 190,591 

1886 ... 661,253 66,899 332,927 30,000 
This industry, more than any other, has contributed 

to the present prosperity of Canterbury, and the follow- 
ing figures will give some idea of its importance : 

Canterbury Works. Capacity per day. Output for year 


Belfast ... ... 5,500 414,104 

Fairfield ... 4,000 373,622 

Pareora ... 4,500 285,203 

Islington ... ... 7,500 592,515 

Smithfield (Timaru) ... 5,500 454,602 

The total value of lamb and mutton exported from 
Canterbury for the year ending October 31. 1914, was 
approximately 2,000,000. 

It was on April 15, 1886, that a syndicate was formed 
in London for the construction of the West Coast Rail- 
way, to be called the Midland Railway of New Zealand. 
Perhaps the story of the West Coast Railway may not 
be considered to come within the scope of the present 
volume, but a few notes showing how intimately Christ- 
church has been associated with the undertaking may be 
of interest. 

The project dates back to the old West Coast digging 
days, when Westland was a part of Canterbury, and Mr. 
Bealey, in his opening address to the Provincial Council. 
November 21, 1865, announced that he had set aside cer- 
tain lands for a West Coast Railway. Again on January 
12. 1867, Superintendent Moorhouse, in proroguing the 
Provincial Council, concurred in a resolution which had 
been passed by that body recommending the construction 


of a railway to the West Coast, and promised to take 
measures to carry it out. 

A time of depression followed in Canterbury. Mr. 
Moorhouse resigned, and the Provincial Government was 
abolished without any definite steps having been taken. 

It was 'in 1884 that a fresh agitation was started, and 
the West Coast Railway League was formed in Christ- 
church, under the presidency of Mr. C. C. Bowen. Mr. 
Alan Scott was sent Home, and succeeded in interesting 
certain London financiers, and eventually the Midland 
Railway Company was formed, and a contract made with 
the New Zealand Government. The later history of the 
undertaking is well known. The Midland Railway 
Company failed in its undertaking, and the New Zealand 
Government stepped in and undertook to complete the 
line. A contract was let to Messrs. McLean for the 
construction of the Otira Tunnel, and, on the failure of 
that firm to cany it out, the Government had to inter- 
vene again, and decided to take the construction into its 
own hands. The work is still proceeding, and it will be 
for another generation to pronounce a final verdict on 
the undertaking. Suffice it to say, that by the light of 
later knowledge, it was perhaps fortunate for Mr. Moor- 
house's reputation that he was not in a position to attempt 
to fulfil that promise made nearly fifty years ago. 


Resignation of Bishop Harper Appointment and conse- 
cration of Bishop Julius The Boer War Death 
of Queen Victoria Proclamation of King Edward 
VII. The Jubilee of Canterbury Antarctica. 

The time came when Bishop Harper owing to increas- 
ing deafness felt that he could no longer do justice to 
his great charge, and, on August 10, 1889, he resigned 
his office his resignation to take effect on March 31, 
1890. The Bishop was then eighty-six years of age, 
having been born on January 9, 1804. 

The story of his life has been told by Canon Purchas. 
The reader will there find the record of an English parish 
priest, who, in his fifty-third year was not afraid to respond 
to a call to take charge of an immense diocese which 
extended over the greater part of the then uncultivated 
South Island of New Zealand, and who, on arrival, shared 
with the pioneers the hardships and the dangers of the 
unbridged rivers, and travelled over the length and 
breadth of the district committed to his charge. On the 
first of those journeys, the Bishop was accompanied by 
his son Henry, who was afterwards Archdeacon of 
Timaru, and has lately published a volume of his letters 
written at the time. From these letters may be 
gathered the very real dangers and difficulties of the 
journeys the Bishop then undertook. On that first 
journey from Christchurch to the Bluff, the Bishop had 
two narrow escapes from death, and was only saved 
by his magnificent constitution and by his powerful 
capacity as a swimmer. 

But over and above all this stands the portrait of a 


man who to the end of an exceptionally long life, could 
draw to himself the love and affection of little children 
on the one hand, and of the rough miners on the "West 
Coast diggings on the other. 

After his retirement, Bishop Harper continued to 
live at Bishopscourt, and was able to take part in the 
consecration of his successor on May 1, 1890. He died 
on December 28, 1893, leaving more than a hundred 
descendants ; one of his younger sons was, until recently, 
Dean of Christchurch. 

The memorial erected in the Cathedral to the memory 
of Bishop Harper has been described elsewhere. 

Upon the resignation of Bishop Harper, the choice of 
the Synod rested on the Rev. Churchill Julius, at that 
time Archdeacon of Ballarat, who accepted the call, and 
was consecrated Bishop of Christchurch, in the Cathe- 
dral, on May 1, 1890, by Dr. Cowie, Primate of New 
Zealand; the Bishops of Nelson, Dunedin and Waiapu, 
and Bishop Harper, assisting at the service. Bishop 
Julius was born at Richmond, Surrey, in 1847, and was 
the son of Dr. Julius. He was educated at Blackheath 
Proprietary School, and Worcester College, Oxford. 
After holding the cure of Shapwick with Ashcott, in 
Somersetshire, and later of Holy Trinity, Islington, he 
was appointed Archdeacon and Vicar of Christ Church, 
Ballarat, from whence he was called to the position he 
still occupies. 

Bishop Julius celebrated the completion of his 25th 
year of office on May 1, 1915. Nearly sixty years have 
now passed since the first Bishop of Christchurch was 
consecrated, and it is rather remarkable that there have 
been only two occupants of the See. 

The Boer War was declared on December 10. 
1899. For some months beforehand it had been 
recognised throughout the Empire as inevitable, and 
New Zealand had been amongst the first to offer a con- 
tingent. The Canterbury volunteers for the first New 

The first Bishop of Christchurch 

PLATE 26. 


Zealand contingent left Christchurch for Wellington on 
October 5, 1899. (The contingent left for South Africa 
on October 21). Of the nine contingents which followed, 
Canterbury sent her share, but one of them, the Third 
Contingent, known as the "Roughriders," was essentially 
a Canterbury corps, recruited and equipped by the people 
of this province. This contingent left Lyttelton, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1900. So that Canterbury, less than fifty years 
after the date of her foundation, was already bearing her 
part in the affairs of the Empire. It is not proposed 
in this volume to follow the fortunes of the various con- 
tingents in South Africa, or to tell of the rejoicing that 
took place in Christchurch on the conclusion of peace, nor 
to describe the welcome back extended by Canterbury to 
the returned contingents. 

It was during the South African War that the 
death of Queen Victoria occurred, and Christ- 
church citizens will not readily forget the memorial 
service conducted in the Cathedral on January 27, 1901, 
nor the Proclamation of King Edward VII., react by the 
Mayor, Mr. William Reece, on the following day from 
the balcony of the City Council Chambers, to a quiet 
concourse of citizens, standing under a sea of umbrellas, 
in torrents of rain. 

Canterbury settlers have always taken a legitimate 
pride in the story of their settlement naturally so, 
for the story is, in some respects, unique. Preparation 
was therefore begun very early for the due celebration 
of the Jubilee of the Province. It was the desire of the 
citizens that they should be represented on the occasion 
by a man of Christchurch birth as Mayor, and a very 
fortunate selection was made in the election, unopposed, 
of Mr. William Reece. He had a strenuous year of 
office, marked by hard work and indefatigable attention 
to the affairs of the city, coupled with a tact and courtesy 
to others, which secured the hearty co-operation of all. 
It may, indeed, be said that the union of boroughs, which 


took place two years later, was the fruit of the entente 
cordiale 'he established with surrounding local bodies in 
the preparation for Jubilee celebrations of Canterbury. 

A main feature of these celebrations was provided by 
the Canterbury Industrial Exhibition, opened November 
1, 1900, in the Canterbury Hall. This hall had then 
just been completed by two Canterbury institutions, the 
Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the Industrial 
Association; some of the cost also being provided by 
the public. The opening of the big hall, capable of 
seating over 3,000 people, was very dramatic, when the 
fine "Jubilee Ode," written by Mr. 0. T. J. Alpers, 
and set to music by Mr. Maughaii Barnett, was rendered 
by a choir of over 300 voices. The theme was inspiring, 
opening with a song of thanksgiving and praise, followed 
by a tribute to the pilgrims, striking a note of pathos in 
its reference to the quick vanishing of that aged 
band. In turn was presented a sombre picture of Can- 
terbury, waste and uncultivated, waiting the quickening 
arrival of the settlers, and, in sudden contrast, came the 
joyous bars proclaiming the later vigorous -life of the 

"The hum of a busy people, 

The mirth of a joyous throng, 

The chiming of bells in steeple, 

The lifting of voice in song, 

Proclaim our pride in achievement, 

Our hopes of the great To-be, 

Our joy in the pregnant present, 

Our golden Jubilee." 

Another feature of the celebrations was the great gather- 
ing of pilgrims at Riccarton, under the hospitable roof of 
Mrs. Deans, a re-union continued annually on Anniver- 
sary Day by Mrs. Deans, and after her death, by Mr. 
Guise Brittan, Mr. John Anderson and Mr. R. C. Bishop. 

There was one other celebration of the Canterbury 
Jubilee which must be referred to, and, as it was in con- 
nection with this that I was quite unconsciously led to 


take part in public life, perhaps I may be permitted to 
tell the story from a personal standpoint. The explana- 
tion may serve also as an apology for the apparently in- 
evitable appearance of the personal pronoun in some of 
the pages that are to follow. The story begins with one 
morning in 1900, when I received notice that at a public 
meeting of citizens, I had been elected a member of the 
Canterbury Jubilee Memorial Committee, and summoning 
me to attend its first meeting 1 . I did not know then that 
by the same post about ninety-nine other citizens had 
received similar notices. In fact, I did not know what 
the Canterbury Jubilee Memorial Committee was expected 
to do, and, drawn by curiosity, I attended the meeting 
to find out. The meeting was presided over by the 
Mayor, and there was an attendance of about a dozen. 
The Mayor explained that the object of the meeting was 
to elect a chairman. The other eleven members present 
were in turn proposed, but each had had the forethought 
to come provided with a valid excuse. Then the whole 
eleven, with flattering unanimity, selected me for the 
post of honour, overcoming my protests by sheer weight 
of numbers. The primary duty of the Memorial Com- 
mittee, I discovered, was to select some fitting object 
with which to commemorate the Jubilee of the province, 
and diverge aces of opinion began to reveal themselves 
at once. There were three main divisions among the 
citizens who were interesting themselves actively in the 
matter. First came those who advocated something 
ornamental, such as statuary or a fountain; next those 
who wanted something with a philanthropic motive, like 
a home for old people, or a hospital ward ; and finally a 
strictly utilitarian group. In illustration of the line of 
thought followed by the third division, it may be recalled 
that one Canterbury borough celebrated the coronation 
by the purchase of a road roller, on which it sought, and 
I think, obtained the Government subsidy. 

Suggestions came from all quarters before the first 


meeting of the Committee. The newspapers, with the 
best intentions, had opened their columns to the multi- 
plication of new ideas, and by the day of the meeting, the 
Committee had at least a hundred proposals from which 
to choose. Thirty or forty members attended, and I 
began to realise that my position as chairman was no 
sinecure. No one scheme was likely to have the support 
of more than five or six members if it had to be put to 
the meeting. I have presided at many meetings of 
different kinds since that day, but I do not know now 
what course I ought to have taken, although it has oc- 
curred to me that I might have taken as a precedent nay 
own election to the chair, by first solemnly putting to 
the meeting ninety-nine proposals, and, after their rejec- 
tion, declaring the hundredth carried by acclama- 
tion. In the end, after many meetings, a decision was 
reached by a process of compromise, and a Memorial 
planned which combined a number of separate proposals. 
The Jubilee Memorial, which now stands in Victoria 
Square, bears on one panel of its pedestal, the names of 
Canterbury men who fell in the South African war. On 
other panels are depicted the arrival of the Canterbury 
Pilgrims, and the departure of the first Contingent for 
South Africa, with symbolic figures representing the art, 
industry and education of the province. The whole is 
surmounted by a statue of Queen Victoria, under whose 
rule Canterbury had been founded, and had passed its 
first half-century. The statue of Queen Victoria is the 
work of Mr. Williamson, of Esher, and the foundation of 
the Memorial was laid by His Majesty King George, dur- 
ing his visit to Christchurch as Duke of York, in 1901, 
and was unveiled on May 25, 1903. 

The panel bearing the names of Canterbury men who 
fell in South Africa was placed in position later, and was 
unveiled by His Excellency Lord Ranfurly, the 
Governor, on April 7, 1904, his last public appearance in 


PLATE 27. 


Perhaps it will be fitting to conclude this chapter 
with an account 'of the three Antarctic Expeditions which 
sailed from Lyttelton. In strict chronological order the 
story should come later, but it is not one which should 
be associated with the civic development of Christchurch, 
with which the next chapter is chiefly concerned. 

The departure of Captain Scott, R.N., in the "Dis- 
covery," on December 21, 1901, for the Antarctic, is an 
event which will long be remembered in Canterbury. The 
expedition was organised by the late Sir Clements Mark- 
ham, himself an Arctic explorer, and at that time Presi- 
dent of the Royal Geographical Society. The selection 
of Christchurch as the base of the research party was due 
to the New Zealand Magnetic Observatory having been 
located here, which afforded the scientific members of 
the staff an opportunity of checking their instruments. 
The "Discovery" remained for some weeks in Lyttelton 
before sailing for the Antarctic, and the officers and men 
made troops of friends, and rarely has Christchurch been 
stirred to such enthusiasm as it was on that occasion. 

This was the first of three expeditions which made 
their base in Christchurch, the second being the " Nim- 
rod," under the command of Sir Ernest Shackleton, which 
sailed from Lyttelton on January 1, 1908, and the third, 
Captain Scott's last and ill-fated voyage in the "Terra 
Nova," which left Lyttelton on November 26, 1910. The 
story of each is too widely known to need more than 
passing reference. 

The plan of the first expedition differed from the two 
later ones in that the "Discovery" wintered in the 
Antarctic, and Captain Scott had arranged for a relief 
ship, the " Morning," Captain Colbeck, to follow the next 
year. On his arrival, Captain Colbeck found the "Dis- 
covery" frozen in, and Captain Scott decided to stand by 
his ship and spend another winter in the Antarctic, so 
the "Morning" returned alone. Two ships went south 
next summer, the "Morning" and the "Terra Nova.'* 


and very fortunately, the ice broke up that year, and 
allowed the "Discovery" to escape. The three vessels 
returned together, and early in the morning' of April 1, 
1904, news was passed round that they had been sighted 
from the Godley Head lighthouse. A great concourse 
of people collected on the wharves, the Governor, Lord 
Ranfurly, among them, and watched the three specks 
on the horizon slowly approaching. For some time, 
there was a tense feeling pervading the watchers, but 
at last the signal came " All's well." The enthusiasm 
excited by that arrival will not readily be forgotten, and 
is in strong contrast with the sad arrival of the "Terra 
Nova," on February 10, 1913. She put into Oamaru 
at 3 a.m., landed two officers, Lieutenant Pennell and 
Dr. Atkinson, charged with the duty of cabling the Com- 
mander's despatch, and silently put to sea again. The 
two officers came on to Christchurch by rail that after- 
noon. They were enjoined to silence, and were not 
recognised, though their identity was suspected, and 
rumours of disaster were already afloat. Next day, the 
news of the loss of the entire Polar party was. published. 
Seldom indeed, has a community been so greatly moved 
as were the people of Christchurch that day. To many 
of us the loss was a personal one. 

This is not the place in which to comment on the 
splendid heroism displayed by Captain Scott, Dr. Wilson, 
Captain Gates and their companions, a story read with 
mingled feelings of pride and sorrow throughout the 
Empire. Suffice it to add that a memorial is being pre- 
pared to be placed in the reserve opposite the Christ- 
church Council Chambers. It will include a statue, de- 
signed by Lady Scott, of Captain Scott, in Antarctic 
dress, bas-reliefs of his four companions, and on the 
base will be engraved the splendid message written by 
the commander of the expedition, while calmly awaiting 
his death amidst the eternal silences of the Antarctic. 


The water powers of Canterbury The visit of T.R.H. 
the Duke and Duchess of York Electric tramways-- 
Greater Christchurch High pressure water-supply. 

A great meeting was held in the newly-built Canter- 
bury Hall on January 28, 1901, to promote a proposal to 
"harness the Waimakariri " as a source of power and 
light. In an earlier chapter it has been told how in the 
sixties that river was looked upon as a turbulent and 
dangerous neighbour, endeavouring to usurp the channel 
of the Avon for the invasion of Christchurch. Since then, 
the name Waimakariri had changed its significance to 
Christchurch ears, and like that " blessed word Mesopo- 
tamia," brought visions of hope and brightness. There 
was something very attractive in the idea of procuring an 
unceasing supply of power, heat and light direct from one 
of Nature's power houses. 

The main difficulty and it applied to all the snow 
rivers of Canterbury was the travelling shingle which 
threatened to descend like an avalanche and swamp any 
dam and head works which might be constructed. The 
Christchurch City Council set up a committee to collect 
information, and unsuccessfully endeavoured to engage 
a Swiss engineer, Colonel Turretini, to come out and 
advise. It was said that at the great electrical works at 
Geneva, the travelling shingle problem also existed, and 
had been overcome. In the year 1902, the City Council 
promoted a Bill to enable it to obtain power from the 
gorge of the Waimakariri, but for reasons which need 
not be related, it was not proceeded with. 


In November, 1902, the Prime Minister, the Bight 
Hon. R. J. Seddon, announced in Christchurch that the 
Government proposed to take the utilization of the water 
powers of the Dominion into its own hands. Already 
there was some doubt whether the Waimakariri was the 
best source of power available, and Lake Coleridge was 
being suggested as a better alternative. For some years 
nothing was done, but in 1910, the Ward Government 
passed an Act entitled Aids to Water Power Works 
Act, and brought down a proposal to construct a number 
of water-power stations in different parts of the Domin- 
ion, and Lake Coleridge was selected as the pioneer work 
to be undertaken. The reasons for the selection were 
that Lake Coleridge, from its size and altitude, provided 
a magnificent natural reservoir, and that by means of a 
tunnel only three-quarters of a mile long, a fall of about 
500 feet could be secured, and the water, having done its 
work, could be turned into the Rakaia River. By this 
plan, the dangers of travelling shingle, and the difficult 
construction of dam and intake would all be avoided. 
The work has since been completed, and the Gpvernment 
is now supplying the City Council with current to be 
converted into power and light. 

Again in April, 1901, special circumstances influenced 
the choice of a Mayor for the year. Christchurch was 
to be honoured by a visit from the Duke and Duchess of 
York the future King and Queen of England and it 
was recognised that the city should be represented by 
a Chief Magistrate who could be depended on to do the 
honours of the occasion with credit to the city. The 
choice fell on Mr. A. E. G. Rhodes, whose family had 
been settled in Canterbury even before the arrival of the 

Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of 
York, with a numerous and brilliant retinue, arrived at 
Lyttelton on Saturday, June 22, and at once proceeded 


to Christchurch, where His Royal Highness held a levee 
in the Provincial Council Chambers, and afterwards laid 
the foundation stone of the Jubilee Memorial, as before 
mentioned, and in the evening attended a reception given 
by the Mayor at Canterbury Hall. 

The Royal party stayed at Mr. Rhodes' house, " Te 
Koraha," which had been placed at their disposal, and 
on Monday attended a review of about 11,000 volunteers 
and cadets at Hagley Park. Saturday had been a wet 
day, with sou'-west squalls, but on Monday the review 
was held under ideal circumstances, a bright, sunny 
winter day, with a clear view of the mountains, and a hint 
of frost still in the air. That afternoon a large reception 
again took place at Canterbury Hall, when a number of 
citizens had the honour of presentation to their Royal 
Highnesses. The Royal party left next morning for 

It probably was in consequence of my work as Chair- 
man of the Jubilee Memorial Committee that I was asked 
to come forward as a candidate for the Mayoralty of Christ- 
church, in 1902. In May of that year I was returned un- 
opposed, and was soon engaged in work in connection 
with the inauguration of a municipal system of electric 
tramways, the most urgent project before the City 
Council at the time. Three privately owned tramway 
systems were operating in and around Christchurch. 
Steam motors were used to some extent, but most of the 
cars were horse-drawn. Various attempts had been 
made to get the local bodies concerned to take joint 
action in buying out the companies and electrifying the 
lines, but progress in that direction had been slow. No 
fewer than eleven bodies had authority within the tram- 
waj r area, namely, the Christchurch City Council, the 
Sydeuham, St. Albans, Liuwood, Woolston, New Brigh- 
ton and Sumner Borough Councils, and the Heathcote, 
Riccarton, Spreydon and Avon Road Boards, and there 
was the further complication that the Road Boards 


named formed portions of the Selwyn County Council. 
The plan generally suggested was that the tramway 
system should be controlled by the Christchurch City 
Council, but local jealousies and suspicions were strong. 
Similar difficulties had recently been experienced 
amongst the local bodies of Auckland, with the result 
that private enterprise was given an opportunity to con- 
struct the electric tramways in that city, and to secure 
a long lease of the service. The contractors were the 
British Electric Traction Co., Mr. P. M. Hansen being 
the New Zealand representative. 

Mr. Hansen was anxious to secure a similar concession 
in Christchurch, and visited this city for the purpose, and 
submitted an offer, which appeared favourable by com- 
parison with the Auckland agreement. 

I, as Mayor, convened a meeting of representatives 
of the various bodies concerned to meet Mr. Hansen. 
This meeting took place on May 30, and at it was laid 
the foundation of the present tramway system. After 
Mr. Hansen had addressed the meeting, he retired, and 
during the discussion that followed, Mr. Loughnan made 
a suggestion, which he and I had previously discussed, 
that a Tramway Area should be created by Act of Parlia- 
ment, and be administered by a Tramway Board. The 
constitution of such an authority was a very necessary 
step even if Mr. Hansen's proposal was to be accepted, a 
point on which the conference made no definite pro- 

Mr. Loughiian's suggestion was cordially agreed to, 
and a sub-committee set up consisting of the Mayors of 
Christchurch, St. Albans and Sumner, together with 
Councillors Loughnan and Gray, with instructions to 
prepare a set of draft proposals. 

The sub-committee lost no time, and a week later, 
June 6, presented their report to a second conference. 
The report was a considered scheme, an outline of the 


proposed Act, and was cordially received by the conference 
and passed with trifling amendment. 

A Bill was prepared on the lines agreed to, and the 
"Christchurch District Tramways Act, 1902," was passed 
by Parliament. It is unnecessary to refer again to Mr. 
Hansen's proposal; public opinion, which at one time 
had shown some disposition to regard it favourably, 
veered round as soon as it was realised that the new Act 
would provide a strong body capable of initiating and 
controlling a municipal service, and by the time the 
Board was elected, Mr. Hansen's proposal found no. 

The election of a Tramway Board under the Act took 
place on January 22, 1903, when the following were 
elected : 

W. Reecs \ 

H. F. Wigram ! Representing Christchurch, 

G. G. Stead f Sydenham and St. Albans. 

A. W. Beaven ) 

H. Pearce, Lin wood sub -district. 

G. Scott, Woolston, Sumner and Heathcote. 

A. B. Morgan, New Brighton and Avon. 

F. Waymouth, Riccarton, Spreydon and Hals well. 
And at the first meeting, on January 29, Mr. W. R-eece 
was elected Chairman. 

The Board was very fortunate in its choice of officers. 
Mr. F. Thompson, who is still Secretary and General 
Manager, was appointed in February to the former posi- 
tion. In the same month, Mr. F. H. Chamberlain was 
appointed Engineer to the Board. Mr. Chamberlain, 
an American electrical engineer of great experience, had 
just completed some important tramway installations in 
Australia, and was about to return to America, when the 
appointment was offered to, and accepted by him. Mr. 
Loughnan was appointed Solicitor to the Board. 

Then followed a period of strenuous work ; first in 
coming to an agreement with the existing tramway 


proprietors on the valuation of their property and plant; 
then in the purchase of a site for the Power House, and 
denning the lay-out of the tramway system, also pre- 
paring detailed plans and specifications for the first con- 
tract for construction. This contract, involving an 
amount of approximately a quarter of a million sterling, 
was undertaken and carried out by a local syndicate. 

Mr. Reece continued as Chairman of the Board till 
June, 1907, and then after having piloted the undertaking 
through its first difficulties, resigned the Chairmanship, 
but for some years afterwards continued his membership 
of the Board. Successive Chairmen have been Mr. A. 
W. Beaven, Mr. H. Pearce, Mr. G. T. Booth and Mr. J. 
A. Flesher. 

The advent of the Electric Tramway system has made 
a great difference to the citizens of Christchurch, enabl- 
ing them to live at a distance from the city, where they 
can avoid crowding and enjoy the pleasures of gardens ; 
but the most striking alteration that has taken place 
is in the growth of hill suburbs at Cashmere, and round 
Sumner, to the great advantage of tKe health of the 

The following statistics are taken from the Tramway 
Board's report for year ending March 31, 1915 : 

Capital Expenditure to close of year ... 676,232 

Revenue Account s. d. 

Gross earnings ... ... ... 142,941 1 

Rates from Special Area ... ... 2,933 7 

145,874 8 

Expenditure s. d. 

Operating Expenses .. 78,072 10 6 

Interest ... ... ... ... 26,924 19 4 

Sinking Fund ... ... ... 2,833 7 

Reserve Funds, ... ... 28,057 10 6 

Nett Surplus ... ... ... 9,986 8 

145.374 8 


Total route miles (loops excluded) ... ... ... 63 

Population served by Tramways ... 86,000 

Total number of passengers carried during 

the year ... ... ... 16,828,269 

The successful solution of the tramway difficulty by 
the constitution of a Tramway Area and a Tramway Board 
encouraged the hope that the time might be ripe for the 
amalgamation of the four Boroughs, which really com- 
prised the city of Christchurch. The desirableness of 
such a union was hardly open to question. The city was, 
at the time, building a destructor for the disposal of 
refuse, and was arranging to use surplus power from that 
source for the generation of electric current. It was 
also building abattoirs for the city meat supply, and had 
in contemplation the provision of a high-pressure water 
supply for household and fire prevention purposes. These 
advantages, it was obvious, ought to be shared by the 
adjoining boroughs, which, except in name, were really 
parts of the city. 

The City Council proceeded on similar lines to those 
which had proved successful at the tramway conference. 
It set up a special committee, under the chairmanship of 
Councillor C. D. Morris, to investigate the subject, and 
to prepare a definite proposition. In addition to the 
services of the Town Clerk, Mr. H. R. Smith, whose wide 
knowledge and sound judgment were of inestimable 
value, an outside accountant of high standing was 
engaged, and requested to analyse the figures and report 
upon the financial effect of incorporating the boroughs 
of Sydenham, St. Albans and Linwood in the city of 
Ohristchurch. The investigation undertaken was very 
thorough. Comparative tables were drawn up, showing 
the rateable values of the separate boroughs, the net 
liabilities (after deducting sinking funds), and the value 
of assets. Some of these assets, such as the river bank 
reserves, and the city squares, were not interest bearing, 
while others, the destructor and the abattoirs, for 
example, called for special treatment, as they would 


be used by the incoming boroughs, although they had 
been provided by the city. Loans raised in connection 
Avith these works had to be made a charge upon Greater 
Christchurch as a whole. The next step was to prepare 
an estimate showing how amalgamation would affect the 
rates of each borough. It is not necessary to present 
the details here, but the estimate showed that the smaller 
boroughs, Linwood and St. Albans, with their smaller 
rating values, would derive most benefit financially. 
Sydenham would gain slightly, and the central ward 
would have to make good the difference. So much for 
the financial aspect, which, though important, cannot be 
made a very interesting subject. 

The wider issue was well expressed by Mr. R. M. 
Macdonald, one of the City Councillors. The question, 
he said, was not one that should be discussed in terms of 
sixty-fourths of a penny in the pound. That this view 
was generally accepted was shown by the voting of the 
city ratepayers when the poll was taken. The central 
ward was at a disadvantage from a purely cash stand- 
point, but it approved of amalgamation almost unani- 
mously. The ideal of a united city appealed to the 
people, who wanted to see Christchurch thrive and grow. 
Many citizens had interests both in the city and boroughs. 
They had their homes in the suburbs, and their places 
of business in the central area. An important factor 
in the movement was a desire that Christchurch should 
rank as the second largest city in the Dominion, a position 
to which her population entitled her. But the strongest 
argument for amalgamation was to be found in the fact 
that it would mean increased efficiency in civic admin- 
istration. A united Christchurch could afford to employ 
a skilled staff, it could obtain improved plant, and it 
could face boldly the problems that were confronting the 
citizens in connection with water supply, sanitation, 
municipal markets, the provision of road metal, the 
municipalisation of lighting, and many other matters. 


The effort of all concerned in the preparations for 
amalgamation was to devise a scheme that would be 
practical in operation, and free, as far as possible, from 
suspicion of unfairness. The experience of more than 
a decade seems to justify a claim that the work done then 
was sound. 

The plan, as finally submitted and carried, was that 
existing loans for purposes of general utility, such as the 
destructor and the abattoir, were to be made chargeable 
on the whole of the Greater Christchurch ; the other 
existing loans to remain charges upon the districts which 
had raised them, each borough to become a ward in the 
city. Representation in the City Council was to be 
arranged as nearly as possible in accordance with popula- 
tion, the central ward to elect six councillors, Sydenham 
four and St. Albans and Lin wood two each. 

The poll was taken under the Municipal Corporations 
Act, which allowed adjoining boroughs to amalgamate 
after obtaining the assent of the ratepayers by ballot. 
The voting took place in Christchurch, St. Albans and 
Linwood on January 22, 1903, and in Sydenham on 
February 4 following. The result was a declaration in 
favour of the united city by a great majority, the details 
being as follows : 

For Against Majority for 

Christchurch 1,208 72 1,136 

St. Albans 436 238 198 

Linwood 590 146 445 

Svdenham 939 421 518 

3,173 876 2,297 

The result was officially announced, and in due course the 
union of the four boroughs was gazetted. 

There still remained one step to secure finally the 
terms of union, namely an Act to transfer the liability 
of the special service loans from the central ward to the 
whole city, and a few months later the City of Christ- 
church Special Loans Enabling Act was passed by 


Parliament. The amalgamation took effect as from 
April 1, 1903, when the population of the city rose at a 
stroke from 17,538 to 42,286, made up as follows: 

Central Ward 17,538 

Sydenham Ward ... ... 11,404 

St. Albans Ward 6,607 

Linwood Ward ... ... 6,737 


The election of Mayor and Councillors of the enlarged 
city took place in April, 1903, when I had the honour of 
being re-elected to the former position. One of the first 
proceedings of the new Council was to re-name the Belts, 
which had ceased to be boundaries. The names of Can- 
terbury's four Superintendents were used for the purpose. 
The East Belt became FitzGerald Avenue called after 
the first Superintendent; the South Belt, on which the 
Railway Station is situated, was named Moorhouse 
Avenue, to perpetuate the memory of Mr. Moorhouse, to 
whose enterprise the railway owed so much ; the North 
Belt, on which Mr. Bealey formerly owned property, 
became Bealey Avenue; and on the west, Antigua Street, 
the boundary of the city on that side, was re-christened 
Rolleston Avenue, after the last of the Superintendents. 
The latter was a particularly happy choice as it is on 
Rolleston Avenue that the Museum and part of Canter- 
bury College stands, two institutions in which Mr. Rolles- 
ton had been keenly interested. It was in Rolleston 
Avenue, in front of the Museum, that a few years after- 
wards the statue of the late Superintendent was erected. 

The re-naming of the Belts is typical of much of the 
early work of the first Greater Christchurch Council. 
The old boundaries had been swept away, and the bor- 
oughs, each with its separate staff, required re-organisa- 
tion under one control useful consolidating work, but 
not of interest to the general reader. But if the expecta- 
tions of those who had worked and voted for Greater 
Christchurch were to be fulfilled, a beginning had to be 


made with the wider programme of municipal administra- 

Everything pointed to a High-pressure Water 
Supply as the first essential to be undertaken. It was 
urgently required for the sanitation of the city as a pre- 
liminary to making it compulsory for every house to con- 
nect with the sewer. It was just as essential for fire pre- 
vention purposes, as I shall show presently. It was 
obviously desirable on economic grounds. The owner 
of each new house built at that time had to provide his 
private water supply ; to do so he had to sink an artesian 
well, connect it with a hydraulic ram or windmill, and 
provide storage tanks. Not only was the first expense 
very heavy, but the multiplicity of wells was causing a 
great wastage of water, and the pressure of the artesian 
supply was being steadily reduced. 

The City Council adopted the plans prepared by its 
engineer, and submitted them to the ratepayers, asking 
authority to borrow 100,000. The proposal was nega- 
tived by a large majority (February 5, 1904), many of the 
ratepayers having spent considerable sums in securing a 
private water supply, and objected to being rated for the 
general scheme. 

Some years later (June 26, 1907) another loan poll 
was taken, and this time it was carried. The two plans 
were identical in principle, in each case there was to be 
a pumping station at the foot of Colombo Street, the 
supply being first stratum artesian water. In each 
case there was to be a reservoir on the Cashmere Hills, 
from which a main trunk pipe line was to be led into the 
city via Colombo Street. The second proposal only dif- 
fered in the amount asked for, as the growing city needed 
wider reticulation. The installation was completed on 
June 21, 1909, when the pumping machinery was set in 
motion for the first time. 

I said just now that I should be able to show 
that a high-pressure water supply was essential for 


fire prevention purposes. At the time the first 
proposal was being mooted, the late Mr. E. Smith, the very 
efficient Superintendent of the Christchurch Fire Brigade, 
was constantly warning the city of the danger of 
a great conflagration, and the inability of the Fire 
Brigade, without a proper water supply, to cope with 
it. I was so impressed with what he told me, 
that I asked him to put it on record. I still 
have his letter, dated December 11, 1903. In it Mr. 
Smith named eleven large business firms whose premises 
it would be difficult to protect in case of a serious out- 
break. They were all at some distance from the river, 
and dependent for protection on smalJ tanks, which would 
soon be pumped dry. The letter could not be published 
without injury to the firms named, but the general warn- 
ing was made public. In the five years and six months 
that elapsed between the writing of that letter and the 
initiation of the high-pressure supply, six of those eleven 
establishments were wholly or partly destroyed by fire. 
A seventh had a narrow escape, the adjoining premises 
being burnt. In one great fire, the Cashel Street fire, of 
February 6, 1908, which originated in one of the build- 
ings described as dangerous, the loss to the under- 
writers amounted to 229,132, apart from private losses 
for property uninsured. Another fire in one of the 
buildings named, the Kaiapoi Woollen Factory, in Cashel 
Street, on November 13, 1907, cost the Insurance com- 
panies 41,000. 

Up to the present time the water supply has met all 
requirements, although the demand per capita has ex- 
ceeded the anticipation. Christchurch people, it is 
found, use more water per head than almost any other 
similar community ; the explanation may be that Christ- 
church is a garden city, or that its dwellers are of 
specially cleanly habits. 


The Roman Catholic Cathedral Constitution of diocese 
Appointment of Bishop Grimes: his work and 
deathi The New Zealand International Exhibition 
Death of Sir John Hall. 

The Roman Catholic Cathedral was opened and dedi- 
cated by Archbishop Carr, of Melbourne, on February 
12, 1905, in the presence of a distinguished gathering, 
which included His Excellency Lord Plunket, the Gov- 
ernor of New Zealand; the Right Hon. R. J. Seddon, 
P.C., Prime Minister of New Zealand : Sir Joseph Ward, 
and Archbishop Kelly, of Sydney. A letter was read 
on this occasion from Cardinal Merry del Val, Secretary 
of State to the Pope, conveying the congratulations of 
His Holiness. 

The site of the building in Barbadoes Street was 
originally set apart for the purposes of the Roman 
Catholic Church as long ago as 1860. Canterbury was 
then within the diocese of Bishop Viard, of Wellington, 
and in August, 1860, this Bishop sent two Marist Fathers 
- Father Seon and Father Chataigner to open a 
Mission in Christchurch.* 

About three acres in Barbadoes Street were set aside 

*This was the first establishment of the Roman Catholic 
Church in Christchurch, but there had been a much earlier estab- 
lishment at Akaroa. The frigate " L'Aube," which accompanied 
the " Compte de Paris," sent out by the Xantes Bordelaise 
Company, landed the Rev. Fathers Compte and Pesant in 1840. 
The story of the French settlement at Akaroa is an interesting 
page in the History of Now Zealand, but does not come within 
the scope of the present volume. 


by the Provincial Council of that day for their use,, andl 
on it the Marist Fathers built a chapel, with living ac- 
commodation attached. Eight years later, the site was 
formally conveyed to the Church by deed, dated August 
11, 1868, signed on behalf of the Provincial Government 
by William Rolleston, as Superintendent, and vesting 
the property in Bishop Viard. 

The little chapel, built in 1860, soon proved inade- 
quate for the growing requirements of the Church, and 
on May 30, 1864, Bishop Viard opened a larger church 
on the same site, which for many years was known as 
the Pro-Cathedral. The provision of this building was 
mainly due to the activity of Father Chataigner. Later 
on came the constitution of a large South Island Diocese,, 
including Canterbury and Westland, with Christchurch 
as the centre of its Episcopal See. The movement 
originated at a session of the Plenary Council, held in. 
Sydney, in 1885, when it was unanimously resolved to- 
petition the Apostolic See to create Wellington into a 
Metropolitan See, and to create a new diocese, with 
Christchurch as its seat. The prayer of the Plenary 
Council was granted, and on May 4, 1887, Bishop Grimes 
was appointed by the Pope as first Bishop of the new 
diocese. Bishop Grimes, at the time of his appointment, 
was Rector of St. Mary's, Paignton, Devonshire. Born 
in 1842, he was forty-five years of age, when, on July 
26, 1887, he was consecrated by Cardinal Vaughan, who 
at the time was Bishop of Salford. The new Bishop 
arrived at Lyttelton on February 2, 1888. 

Bishop Grimes paid a visit to Europe in 1897, and as 
a result of an audience with the Pope, he set to work, on 
his return, to endeavour to arrange for a building more 
worthy of the Church, to take the place of the old wooden 
Pro-Cathedral. The Bishop set an example of liberality 
by personally donating 1,000 to the building fund, and 
was so well supported by the members of his Church ,. 
that a large sum of money was speedily collected. Mr.. 


F. W. Petre, of Dunedin, was the architect selected, and 
the foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Carr, in 

The design of the Cathedral is in the Classic style, 
and is similar to the well-known Church of St. Vincent 
de Paul, in Paris. The nave has, on either side, flank 
colonnades enclosing the side aisles, and carrying the 
entablature of the Ionic Order, on which are supported 
the dies and moulded work of the Corinthian Order of 
the upper colonnade, which in turn carries the entabla- 
ture of the upper aisle, and forms a gallery completely 
round the interior of the church. 

The main dome is carried on four large arches 
each supported by Ionic pilasters, four to each side of the 
arch, the space enclosed forming the Sanctuary of the 
Cathedral. A central tower rises through the main 
room, and carries the principal dome to a height of 130 

Externally the front storey and great colonnade are 
flanked by supporting towers, each surmounted by a 
copper dome. Entrance to the interior of the Cathedral 
is gained by three main doors, under the great colonnade 
of the front, and four under the two colonnades which 
form the external aisles to the church. The whole of 
the building is of Oamaru stone, the roof of the external 
colonnades being formed of reinforced concrete and 
asphalt, the principal roof of the nave being finished 
with French tiles. The entire work was carried out by 
Messrs. J. and W. Jamieson, under contract, and cost 
upwards of 50,000. 

Bishop Grimes held his office for twenty-seven years, 
during which period he made frequent visitations through- 
out his enormous diocese, which included some of the 
roughest country in New Zealand. He was indefati- 
gable as an organiser, and was primarily responsible for 
the great number of Roman Catholic institutions which 
were established under efficient management during his 


long term as Bishop. He gained, and held to the end. 
the love and respect of his people, and has left, in the 
Cathedral, a lasting memorial of a singularly active life. 
He died on March 15, 1915. 

The New Zealand International Exhibition, No- 
vember 1, 1906- April 15, 1907. The great exhibition, 
held in Christchurch in 1906-1907, was the largest under- 
taking of the kind ever attempted in New Zealand. It 
was promoted by the Seddon Government, and the 
foundation stone was laid by the Hon. B. J. Seddon on 
December 18, 1905, almost his last public appearance in 
Christchurch before his lamented death at sea, on June 
10. 1906. Hagley Park was the site selected, and an area 
of about one hundred acres enclosed and laid out in 
attractive grounds. The river formed the boundary on 
two sides, and additional bridges were thrown over it, 
and a weir built to keep a depth of water suitable for 
boating. The Victoria Lake afforded space for a water 
shute, and for the evolutions of a many-paddled Maori 
war canoe. On the bank of the lake was a Maori en- 
campment a typical stockaded village of the old time, 
with its picturesque carved gate posts, and a background 
of well-grown timber. Certainly no better site could 
have been selected in New Zealand. The grounds were 
within ten minutes' walk of Cathedral Square, and were 
accessible by electric tram, on the one side, and by a 
railway siding for goods traffic on the other. 

The contract price for buildings and appurtenances 
was 87,732, apart from the cost incurred in the pre- 
paration of the grounds. 

The veteran Canterbury statesman, Sir John Hall, 
was induced to come out of his retirement and accept 
the Mayoralty for the Exhibition year. Sir John had 
been chairman of the first Christchurch Town Board in 
1862, and came forward at a ripe old age to receive and 
entertain the many distinguished visitors who were 
attracted to Christchurch. 


First Chairman Christchurch Town Board, 1862. 
Mayor of Christchurch. 1906. 

PLATE 29. 


The Exhibition was opened by His Excellency Lord 
Plunket, Governor, on November 1, 1906, when an ode, 
written by Mr. Johannes C. Andersen, was sung, the main 
theine being the welcome given by " the isles of the utter- 
most sea," to the visitors from the older nations. One 
of these visitors was the late Sir John E. Gorst, P.C., who 
returned to New Zealand after an absence of forty-three 
years. He came as envoy and special commissioner of 
the British Government. 

A detailed description of the Exhibition would be 
wearisome ; there is a strong family resemblance between 
all such undertakings, but the music provided, and the 
art exhibition, were both of a very high order. 

The collection of pictures, many of them lent by the 
British Government, was housed in a brick building, 
which cost 5,000. After the close of the Exhibition, 
a suggestion was made that the picture gallery should be 
left standing and used for some public purpose, but 
popular sentiment would stand no interference with 
Hagley Park, and the only memento of the Exhibition 
left standing was the foundation stone, laid by the Hon. 
R. J. Seddon a solitary monolith of a great undertaking. 

The Exhibition cost the Government about 80,000, 
some of which was no doubt recovered by increased 
Customs duties, and by additional tourist traffic, but the 
value of such an undertaking cannot be measured by the 
debit and credit accounts of a ledger. The Exhibition 
was a great advertisement of the products of this country; 
it encouraged trade with distant lands; and, above all, 
came the educational value to our own people in the arts 
and industries. 

Perhaps the memory of the Exhibition, which will 
linger longest, is that of the thronging multitudes which 
crowded the grounds, which sixty years before had lain 
a tussock plain. 

Sir John Hall did not long survive the term of his 
Mayoralty. He died in Christchurch on June 25, 1907, 


in his eighty-third year. Not quite one of the pioneers, 
he arrived in Canterbury early enough to secure election 
to the first Provincial Council, in 1853, in which he 
represented Christchurch country districts. In the 
following year, he succeeded Mr. H. J. Tancred as head 
of the Provincial Executive. He was afterwards ap- 
pointed Resident Magistrate for Christchurch, and 
elected Chairman of the first Christchurch Municipal 
Council. He held, at different times, seats in both 
branches of the Legislative, and was Prime Minister of 
New Zealand from October, 1879, to April, 1882, and 
retired from public life in 1894. 



With the previous chapter this story has come to its 
end ; subsequent events are too recent to be seen yet in 
their true perspective. It only remains to endeavour to 
associate some of the memories of the early history with 
a description of Christchurch as we know it in this year 
of 1916. 

The visitor coming to Christchurch at the present day, 
must find it hard to realise the tree-less expanse of sand 
and swamp with which the first settlers were confronted. 
The other chief cities in New Zealand, Auckland, Wel- 
lington and Dunedin, occupy sites of great natural 
beauty, and were, perhaps, even more picturesque in 
their original setting of native bush, extending to their 
sea frontages, than they are to-day. Queen Street, 
Auckland, and Princes Street, Dunedin, are natural 
thoroughfares, and, like Lambton Quay, in Wellington, 
present architectural opportunities comparable with those 
of Edinburgh itself. 

Christchurch is essentially a " city of the plains." If 
we except the Avon and the wonderful panorama of the 
Southern Alps, it possessed no natural advantages; it 
might, as Mr. Henry Sewell remarked, improve on 
further acquaintance like olives, but special training was 
needed to appreciate its bare and spacious environment. 

Most of the cities of the world, ancient and modern, 
have grown by chance or accident, rather than by definite 
design. The Strand, in London, followed the curve of 
the river bank. Many of the Scottish cities clustered 
for protection beneath the walls of some feudal castle ; 


the great cities of the black country have grouped them- 
selves around collieries and blast furnaces. Similarly, 
chance has settled the growth and development of most 
colonial cities. Wellington, or Port Nicholson, as it 
was then called, was originally built on a strip of beach 
squeezed in between the feet of its precipitous hills and the 
water-front. The evidence of congestion is still manifest 
in its narrow and crooked streets. Christchurch is 
remarkable as an instance of a city deliberately planned 
and planted on an open plain. The result, in the main, 
is a city of wide streets, free from congestion, and free 
from slums. By the forethought of its founders, in 
addition to other reserves, Hagley Park and the Domain 
were set aside as a perpetual heritage to the city and 
province. With the passage of time, Hagley Park has 
come to resemble a well-timbered English park; the 
Domain gardens and river banks have been planted, and 
the waste places of the city and surroundings well cared 
for. (See Appendix on Domain Board, Beautifying 
Society and Summit Road Association.) 

Perhaps the most striking general impression of the 
city may be gained by climbing the narrow spiral stairs 
leading to the balconies in the Cathedral Tower. South- 
wards the city extends to the foot of the Port Hills, and 
has already covered some of the lower spurs. A few 
tall buildings stand out like islands above the sea of 
roofs, notably the dome of the Roman Catholic Cathedral 
in the middle distance, and the Express Company's lofty 
building in the near foreground. The Port Hills form 
the background on this side. A rocky crag, known as 
Windsor Castle, stands sentinel to mark the Bridle Track 
of the pilgrims, and the tunnel of later years. The 
original yellow tussock of these hills has given place to 
the green of English grasses. The range terminates 
abruptly to the north-east in the Sumner cliffs, and 
beyond lie the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. 

In other directions the building area appears to be 


limited, and the curious effect is presented of a city sur- 
rounded by forest. The illusion is produced by a wide 
range of gardened dwellings, each with ample room for 
the cultivation of trees and flowers. Thanks to its 
"spacious environment," and an up-to-date tramway 
service, population has spread over miles of plain, and 
gardens and orchards are the rule rather than the excep- 
tion. Along the western horizon extends the great 
mountain range of the Southern Alps, many of the peaks 
above the line of perpetual snow. The Kaikouras, one 
hundred miles to the north, are only visible in exception- 
ally clear weather, but from north to south extends a 
magnificent alpine panorama. 

A still more comprehensive view may be obtained 
from the " Summit Road," which runs along the upper 
slopes of the Port Hills, at an average elevation of about 
one thousand feet. On one side lies Lyttelton Harbour, 
almost landlocked amid its volcanic hills, and on the 
other side is spread the great Canterbury Plain, like a 
map traversed by the silver skein of the troublesome 
Waimakariri. Away to the south lies the wide expanse 
of Lake Ellesrnere, famous as the haunt of myriads of 
wild fowl. To the north stretches the scimitar-like 
curve of the coast line around Pegasus Bay. From this 
point of view Christchurch no longer appears to be set in 
forest; the greater elevation enables the outline of fields 
and plantations to be distinguished. 

Mr. E. F. Knight, the author of "Where Three 
Empires Meet," saw this view on June 24, 1901. It was 
a clear winter morning, the day of the Royal Review in 
Hagley Park, when H.R.H. Duke of York (now H.M. 
King George), was visiting Christchurch. Mr. Knight 
was a trained observer, a traveller over many lands, and 
his description of his impression of the Canterbury Plains 
is therefore worth quoting in extenso. "One morning,'' 
he wrote, " I ascended a hill about two miles from Christ 
church, and looked out on what is an object lesson 


indeed to one who would know what the in- 
dustries of the British colonies can achieve. Be- 
fore me was a vast plain, extending to mountain 
ranges, which were from forty to a hundred 
miles distant. The mountains presented a grand appear- 
ance, covered as they were half-way down their slopes 
with snow, and with, here and there, some mighty peak 
of the still further Southern Alps towering white into 
the forget-me-not-coloured sky. The plains that thus 
stretched before me for hundreds of square miles were 
the famous Canterbury Plains, and as far as my eye 
could carry these appeared to be richly cultivated ; hedges 
often made of golden-blossoming English gorse, dividing 
the fields. Pleasant farmhouses, tree surrounded home- 
steads and pretty villages, were scattered over this flat 
plain, which I observed was crossed by railway lines and 
many good roads. It was winter, and there was stubble 
where the crops had been; but I knew that on that 
fertile soil are produced enormous crops of wheat, barley, 
oats, rye, and other cereals; of turnips, potatoes, peas, 
clover and mangolds, and that here are vineyards where 
the finest grapes are grown ; orchards where every 
English tree flourishes exceedingly. Last year the yield 
of wheat alone in the Canterbury district was consider- 
ably over five million bushels. A million and a half 
acres of land have been ploughed and laid down in 
English grasses. The district is celebrated for the 
splendid quality of its sheep ; on the higher land the 
Merino predominating, on the lower lands crosses of 
Lincoln, Romney Marsh, Leicester, and other English 
breeds find excellent pasture. The development of the 
frozen meat export trade has given a great impetus to 
the sheep breeding in this district. Last year nearly 
two million carcases were frozen, and the Islington works 
alone, belonging to the Christchurch Meat Company, can 
put through six thousand carcases a day, and can store 
a hundred and twenty thousand carcases. Apparently 


everything is produced in this wonderful district. There 
are coal mines here too, quarries of excellent building 
stone, and fine timber in the hills. Manufactories of all 
sorts have been established in the district jam making 
factories, sawmills, potteries, meat preserving works, and 
others too numerous to mention here. As one gazes at 
this great plain, extending from ocean to the snowy 
mountains, which human industry has made so rich, one 
remembers, with amazement, that only fifty years ago 
this was a desolate, uninhabited, swampy wilderness, 
with fern, and thorny bush, and reeds alone growing 
on it." 

The city of Christchurch suffers from the absence of 
any main thoroughfare. A stranger to Auckland uncon- 
sciously gains his bearings and sense of locality from 
the line of Queen Street, but in the absence of any such 
landmark, visitors are apt to experience great difficulty 
in finding their way abou-t Christchurch. Everything 
is on a dead level, and the streets are all the same width, 
mostly at right angles to each other, and the windings 
of the river Avon tend to further confuse. Fortunately 
the Cathedral spire is generally visible, and forms an 
excellent beacon. Cathedral Square is not only the 
central site of the city, but the historical centre of Can- 
terbury's story. Facing the Cathedral stands the statue 
of John Robert Godley, surveying the edifice of which 
he and his companions dreamt nearly seventy years ago. 
Even more interesting, historically, than the Cathedral 
are the "old Provincial Buildings," dating back to the 
early days of the Provincial Government. Not far away, 
and also on the banks of the river, stand the Municipal 
Council Chambers, built in 1886 on the site of the 
original Land Office, where the allocation of the first 
sections sold by the Canterbury Association took place. 
To the westward has grown up an educational and resi- 
dential neighbourhood, not unlike that of an English 
University city. Amongst the buildings grouped in 


this portion of the town are those of Christ's College 
(surrounding a wide quadrangle), Canterbury College, 
the Boys' and Girls' High Schools, the Normal School 
(for the training of teachers), the Public Library and 
the Museum. In front of the Museum stands the statue 
of William Rolleston, a fine study in white marble, facing 
the view of Worcester Street and the Cathedral, of which 
Henry Sewell wrote in anticipation. 

Besides the buildings noted, there are many others 
of lesser historic importance. The Roman Catholic 
Cathedral, in Barbadoes Street, with its fine dome, finished 
in 1905, is a striking testimony to the liberality of the 
members of that Church. The Government offices in 
Worcester Street, and the Supreme Court Buildings and 
Magistrate's Court-house, each of the latter with front- 
ages on the river, are ornaments to the city. The 
churches of various denominations are too numerous 
to particularise, but St. Michael's deserves special men- 
tion as a fine example of wooden architecture. It was 
built in 1870, and stands on the site of the first church 
opened in 1851 in Christchurch, where Bishop Harper 
was consecrated on Christmas Day, 1856. The Christ- 
church Club is another interesting specimen of an early 
wooden building, dating from 1861. The timber em- 
ployed was heart of black pine (Maitai), of a quality 
now difficult to procure, and at a recent examination was 
found to be perfectly sound. 

The Post Office and Railway Station call for no 
special comment, they both belong to what may be called 
the " middle ages," and will, in time, give place to some- 
thing more worthy of the city. 

Christchurch is well supplied with bridges. They 
are more numerous to the square mile, which originally 
comprised the city, than in any other place with which 
the writer is acquainted. Venice may perhaps compete, 
but it is confidently asserted that there are more bridges 
in Christchurch than there are in London. This redund- 

w = 

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u r 

ID " 


i) ^ 

r^ K 

CC . 

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PLATE 32. 



ancy may be partly due to the pleasant custom of the 
City Council some years ago of commemorating the ser- 
vices of its Mayors by building bridges inscribed with 
their names and date ot office. 

The commercial and industrial buildings of the city 
call for no special comment. There are many handsome 
buildings amongst them, but speaking generally they 
are useful and substantial, rather than ornate admir- 
ably adapted, in fact, to their various purposes. With 
a single exception there are no buildings exceeding five 
stories in height. There is indeed no necessity for 
economy of ground space with such ample room for the 
city to spread, and the writer records his hope that ere 
it be too late, the authorities will take steps to prevent 
the erection of anything akin to the American sky- 
scrapers to disfigure the city and dwarf its fine Cathedral 

The city has its own abattoirs at Sockburn, about 
five miles away, where meat for local consumption is 
slaughtered under proper supervision. It has also a 
destructor to burn city refuse, and utilises the heat 
to produce electricity for the use of the citizens. This 
supply of electricity has lately been supplemented from 
the Government Water-power Works at Lake Coleridge. 
The waste heat from the destructor is used in warming 
the water of a fine tepid swimming bath, which was built 
by the City Council in 1909. This bath has become 
the headquarters of the Royal Life Saving Society, which 
is doing splendid work under the care of a very efficient 
instructor (Mr. Billson). 

Another useful institution established by the Govern- 
ment, in 1906, is the Technical College, where instruction 
is given in the various industries, under the supervision 
of Mr. Howell. 

Hagley Park, north and south, has been the sports 
ground of successive generations of Canterbury boys, 
and stands in the same relation to some of those who have 


since fought in South Africa, in Egypt and on the Galli- 
poli Peninsula, as did the playing fields of Eton to many 
who fought at Waterloo. 

In its ample spaces the Park provides grounds for 
cricket, football, polo, golf, hockey, lawn tennis, bowls, 
croquet and model yacht sailing. Canterbury in its 
early days, was pre-eminent at cricket, but its represen- 
tative players then were men who had learned the game 
at the public schools and universities of England. The 
high-water mark of that phase of Canterbury cricket was 
probably reached in January, 1878, when a Canterbury 
team defeated the famous Australian Eleven. The 
match was played at Hagley Park, and it was out of 
compliment to the cricketing prowess of Canterbury that 
the visitors agreed to meet a team of fifteen instead of 
twenty-two, as in the other provinces. The Australian 
team, captained by Gregory, included such giants as 
Spofforth (the demon bowler), Murdoch and the two Ban- 
nermans, a side which in England almost created a reign 
of terror. It is only fair to say that three years later, 
in January, 1881, another Australian team, captained by 
W. L. Murdoch, took an ample and single innings 

To-day Canterbury is again at the -head of interprovin- 
cial cricket, being the present holders of the Plunket 
Shield. But this position has been won by Canter- 
bury-bred cricketers, who have learnt their cricket here. 

Besides Hagley Park, Christchurch possesses another 
famous cricket and sports ground. It is more than 
thirty years since Mr. F. "Wilding, and other good sports- 
men, formed a company to provide a first-class sports 
ground for Christchurch, and since then Lancaster Park 
has been the scene of all the most important cricket and 
football matches played in the province. It was here that 
the final match for the Davis International Lawn Tennis 
Cup was played in 1912. The Australasians were the 
holders, and the Americans the challengers. The tourna- 


ment was held in Christchurch, out of compliment to the 
late Captain Anthony Wilding, eldest son of the founder 
of Lancaster Park, who, with the assistance of Mr. Nor- 
man Brookes, the Australian champion, had won the cup 
for Australasia the previous year. Unfortunately Mr. 
Wilding, who was then in business in London, was unable 
for private reasons to come out and take part in the 
match ; nevertheless, the Australasian team retained 
the Cup. The match won by Norman Brookes from the 
young American champion, McLoughlin, was possibly 
the most interesting display of lawn tennis ever seen. 
On the one side was a veteran player, calm and collected, 
a past-master of cool strategy ; on the other, a marvel of 
activity, whose overhead smashes possessed the force of 
a hurricane. Sometimes a rally would be ended by a 
shot from McLoughlin, which after pitching in his 
adversary's court, flew like a rocket among the spectators 
at the top of one of the grand stands ; sometimes Brookes 
having driven his opponent into the wings, would gently 
drop a short return over the net, while the opponent stood 
mopping his forehead. 

Captain Anthony Wilding's career in the world's his- 
tory of lawn tennis needs no comment. It may be fairly 
claimed that he laid the foundation of his success in 
Christchurch, under the capable tuition of his father. 
He died in May, 1915, killed at the front by a German 

In other branches of sport, Christchurch has been 
well to the fore. The Canterbury Jockey Club (see 
Appendix), was one of the first racing clubs in New 
Zealand, and its beautiful grounds and appurtenances at 
Riccarton are worth visiting. 

The New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club has 
also a fine course laid out at Addington on its own free- 

Rowing too, is not neglected ; there are several clubs, 
the senior being the Canterbury and Union Rowing 


Clubs, each with a large membership and fine boat house 
and appliances. Richard Arnst, for some years sculling 
champion of the world, came from Canterbury, as did 
also W. Webb, from whom Arnst won the world's 

There are more motor-cars, motor-cycles and bicycles 
in Canterbury than in any other province ; this is but 
the natural result of the wide stretch of level country, 
intersected by good roads, wide and straight. The 
Canterbury Automobile Association was founded in 1903, 
and has a membership numbering about five hundred. 
It has done good work in securing a great improvement 
in the roads of the province. 

Westward of the city lie the Domain Gardens and 
Hagley Park, the former accessible by three gates on 
Rolleston Avenue. Fronting the central entrance to 
the gardens is the statue of W. S. Moorhouse, the second 
Superintendent of Canterbury. The illustrations in this 
volume may be left to tell their tale about the present 
appearance of the Domain Gardens and Hagley Park, 
but both are rich in old Canterbury associations. A 
stone at the bend of the river near the R-iccarton Avenue 
marks the first camping ground of the pioneers ; an oak 
near the Acclimatisation Society bridge was planted in 
1862 to commemorate the marriage of Prince Albert 
Edward of Wales with the Princess Alexandra of Den- 
mark; other trees commemorate the visit of the Duke 
of Edinburgh, and we may picture the Duke and his 
suite tramping across the rough grass to plant them, 
and flushing pheasants on the way, and afterwards cross- 
ing in a punt to the Acclimatisation Society grounds. 

We can dwell in imagination on the cricket match 
in Hagley Park, in which, Godley relates that Brittan 
and he distinguished themselves so creditably, and re- 
construct the race meeting, with a bullock waggon as 
a grand stand. The old running track, which lay in a 
depression in Hagley Park, is now the site of Victoria 

The Avenue stands on a strip of land originally reserved for a mill race. 

PLATE 34. 


Lake, the headquarters of the Model Yacht Club. We 
can picture Mr. Henry Sewell, in tall hat and shepherd's 
plaid trousers, marching 1 his associates about in search 
of a site for Christ's College. We can witness, in 
memory, the great review held to commemorate the visit 
to Christchurch of the Duke of York, now his Gracious 
Majesty King- George V., and in the procession of events 
that followed, the Hon. R. J. Seddoii may be seen laying 
the foundation stone of the International Exhibition. The 
stone still stands to mark the place once the haunt of 
eager crowds. We may remember the keen competition 
for the gold watch which rewarded the millionth person 
to pass the turnstile. 

The estimated population on April 1, 1915, of the four 
chief cities was as follows : 

Greater Auckland ... ... 117,793 

Greater Christchurch . . 87,758 

Greater Wellington ... 74,811 

Greater Dunedin ... ... 69,158 

Christchurch thus being the second largest city in New 
Zealand. (From " Year Book," 1916). 



We in New Zealand are still at the beginning of 
things. A world- wide movement of population is in 
progress ; last century saw the stream setting strongly 
towards the United States and Canada, hut when their 
great territories are rilled up, it is certain that the overflow 
must be diverted to Australasia. The time may be even 
now at hand ; while these lines are being written, men 
are already considering the problems which must follow 
the conclusion of peace one of these problems is what 
is to be done for the millions of young men who have been 
uprooted from their civil employment to fight for their 
country. Already it is being suggested that, some of 
them should be assisted to make their homes in the 
distant parts of the Empire, and so help to strengthen 
its defence. 

Let us pause a moment to consider what such an 
influx of population would mean to Christchurch and 
Canterbury. The population of the South Island of New 
Zealand, at the last census (1911), numbered 444,477. 
Yet the area of this island is almost 8,000 square miles 
greater than that of England, or almost exactly equal to 
the combined area of England and Wales. Put in an- 
other way, the South Island is carrying a population of 
eight persons to the square mile, as against 669 persons 
in England. A century ago England and Wales carried 
a population of over ten millions, who lived on the land, 
and did not need to import their foodstuffs ; moreover, 
agriculture was primitive then, grain was sown broad- 


cast, and reaped with the sickle. The poisonous fumes 
of industrial smoke had not yet drifted across the country, 
and agricultural machinery was still unthought of. Can 
we doubt that Canterbury can carry as dense a popula- 
tion as England did in the year of Waterloo ? 

Then it may be that Christchurch may become one 
of the great manufacturing and commercial cities of 
these Southern Seas. She possesses all the requirements 
for such a destiny a temperate climate, with a greater 
average of recorded sunshine than falls to the lot of most 
cities ; abundant water supply for purposes of power, 
and a pure artesian supply for drinking and domestic use; 
an unlimited extent of level country, lines of communi- 
cation north and south, presently to be connected with 
the West Coast; a harbour safe in all weathers, and 
capable of extension to fit it to cope with the greater 
requirements of the future. Moreover, there lies 

behind the city a great agricultural and pastoral dis- 
trict, rich in raw material for the factory and workshop, 
and with the completion of the Midland Railway there 
may be opened up new fields of enterprise of which we 
can only guess. Who can tell what mineral resources 
may still be hidden in that region of great mountains 
and forest? 

It may be that the installation of the Lake Coleridge 
water-power works will prove to have been the precursor 
of a new era of prosperity for the province, of a 
magnitude we as yet hardly appreciate. My Canterbury 
readers will recollect that the Government engineers 
who were responsible for the undertaking told us that 
if more power were required, it would be feasible to divert 
the Wilberforce and Harper Rivers into Lake Coleridge. 
Together, these two rivers probably bring down more 
than half the water which flows under the Rakaia railway 
bridge. The lake is a magnificent natural reservoir, 
mountain fringed, and at an elevation of over 1,600 feet. 
It needs little imagination to guess what might be done 


in irrigation with such a volume of water, at such an 
elevation, and under complete control. It is surely no 
exaggeration to suggest that the hundreds of square miles 
of gently sloping plains which lie between Lake Coleridge 
and the sea, might be converted into water meadows, and 
that then there would be water to spare for fruit-growing 
on the more arid lands as is done in Central Otago. And 
let us remember, the Rakaia, with its tributaries, is only 
one of the rivers of Canterbury. 

These are inspiring possibilities, and their fulfilment 
need entail no sacrifice of the beauty and other character- 
istics of the city. There remains room for additional 
thousands of workers' homes, each surrounded with its 
garden and flowers, and with electric power available, 
there need be none of that pall of smoke which has laid 
waste some of the fairest of the midland counties in. 

Perhaps it may be thought that the picture presented 
is too rosy it is better, I think, to be an optimist than 
a pessimist. With Mr. Asquith I say: ' Wait and see." 

In these anticipations I have deliberately refrained 
from commenting on the proposal to form a " Port 
Christchurch," with an entrance from the sea at Sum- 
ner. Some notes about the proposal will be found in the 
Appendix, but this is not the place to raise so contro- 
versial an issue. 

I cannot exercise the same reticence about the Lyttel- 
ton Tunnel. It is a standing credit to the enterprise 
of the mere handful of settlers who built it fifty years 
ago, but it is not to the credit of the present generation 
that the passage of the whole commerce of North Can- 
terbury, outward and inward, should still continue to 
be risked through a single tunnel an accident, or a few 
sticks of dynamite, and rail communication between the 
port and the plains might be interrupted for months, or 
even years. 

Canterbury was founded as an English settlement, 


though administered at first by Irishmen. Possibly 
owing to the superiority of its land and climate, it has 
since attracted many stalwart Scottish settlers from 
Otago. Wales is also represented among us. But the 
essential feature is that we are an entirely British com- 
munity. One of the lessons of Armageddon is the danger 
of a mixed population. We can read that lesson in 
Africa, in the United States of America, even in little 
Samoa. What has been said about Canterbury applies 
equally to the other New Zealand provinces. Their days 
of childhood are over, and each city and each province 
may be said to have arrived at man's estate, and to have 
begun to bear its share in the dangers and responsibilities 
of a great Empire. That share may be comparatively 
small at present, but when the tide of immigration begins 
to flow in, it is to be hoped that the rulers of New Zealand 
will hold the race gate firmly. 

These lines are written under the shadow of a world 
crisis. With the termination of the great war must 
come many changes social, economic and political a 
new chapter in the world's history is about to be opened. 
What will be written there of Canterbury and of 
Christchurch ? 




JAMES EDWARD FITZGERALD July 20, 1853, to October, 1857. 

J. E. FitzGerald ... 135 votes 

Col. J. Campbell ... ... ... ... 94 votes 

H. J. Tancred ... ... ... ... ... 89 votes 

WILLIAM SEFTON MOORHOUSE October 14. 1857, to August, 1861. 
W. S. Moorhouse ... ... ... ... 727 votes 

Joseph Brittan ... ... ... ... 352 votes 

WILLIAM SEFTON MOORHOUSE August 30, 1861, to April, 1862. 

Returned unopposed. 
WILLIAM SEFTON MOORHOUSE April, 1862, to February, 1863. 

Relumed unopposed. 
SAMUEL BEALEY March, 1863, to May, 1866. 

Returned unopposed. 
WILLIAM SEFTON MOORHOUSE-May 30. 1866, to May, 1868. 

W. S. Moorhouse ... ... ... ... 1604 votes 

J. D. Lance ... ... ... ... ... 891 votes 

W. T. L. Travers ... ... ... ... 186 votes 

WILLIAM ROLLESTON May 22, 1868, to April, 1870. 

Returned unopposed. 
WILLIAM ROLLESTON May 2, 1870, to April, 1874. 

W. Rolleston 1800 votes 

W. S. Moorhouse ... ... ... ... 897 votes 

WILLIAM ROLLESTON April, 1874, to abolition of provinces. 
Returned unopposed. 



CHARLES BOWEN July 13, 1860 Aug. 7, 1867 


CHARLES BOWEN Dec. 9, 1862 May 10, 1870 


Jan. 27, 1866 Aug. 23, 1871 


July 15. 1867 HARMAN Sept. 2, 1871 


September 27, 1853 CHARLES SIMEON 

April 12, 1855 CHARLES BOWEN* 

January 20, 1858 CHARLES BOWEN (re-elected) 

July 29, 1862 CHARLES BOWEN (re-elected) 

May 30, 1865 JOHN OLLIVIER 

October 19, 1866 HENRY JOHN TANCRED 

September 30, 1870 HENRY JOHN TANCRED (re-elected) 

May 29, 5874 HENRY JOHN TANCRED (re-elected) 

Note. Charles Simeon was a member of the Executive Council as well 

as Speaker. 
*Charles Bowen's first term expired with the prorogation of the 

Provincial Council on June 30, 1857, and he became President of 

the Executive Council on July 15, 1857. 


Executive Councils. 

September 27, 1853, to October 13, 1854. 

William John Warburton Hamilton, Charles Simeon, Harry Godfrey 
Qouland (appointed March 24, 1854). 

October 23, 1854, to May 12, 1855. 

Samuel Bealey, Harry Godfrey Gouland, Henry Barnes Gresson. 

May 12, 1855, to July 27. 1855. 

Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard Packer (the records indicate no Presi- 
dent in this Ministry). 

July 27, 1855, to February 12, 1857. 

Joseph Brittan, Henry Barnes Gresson, William John Warburton 

February 12, 1857, to July 27, 1857. 

(R. Packer, Prov. Sec.; President not stated.) 

Henry Barnes Gresson, William John Warburton Hamilton (resigned 
June 13, 1857), Thomas Cass (appointed June 29, 1857). Richard James 
Straohan Harman (appointed June 29, 1857). 

July 27, 1857, to October 3, 1857. 

Thomas Cann. Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard James Strachan Harman, 
Richard Packer. 

October 3, 1857, to December 8, 1857. 


(C. Bowen had become Deputy Superintendent.) 

Henry Barnes Gresson. Richard James Strachan Harman, Richard 

December 8, 1857, to February 10, 1858. 


Thomas Cass. Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard James Strachan Harman 
(resigned January 27, 1858). John Ollivier 


Executive Councils (Continued). 

February 10, 1858, to November 8, 1859. 

Thomas Smith Duncan, John Ollivier, Charles Christopher Bowen (ap- 
pointed May 15, 1858). 

November 8, 1859, to November 15, 1859. 

Charles Joseph Bridge, George Arthur Emilius Boss, Augustus Edward 
White, Charles William Wyatt. 

November 21, 1859, to December 21, 1859. 

Thomas Cass, Thomas Smith Duncan, George Arthur Emilius Eoss. 

December 29, 1859, to February 1. 1861. 

Thomas Cass (resigned July 10. 1860), Thomas Smith Duncan, Eobert 
Wilkin (appointed July 10, 1860), Henry Arthur Scott (appointed 
September 4, 1860). 

February 1, 1861, to December 4, 1863 

Thomas Smith Duncan (resigned March 31, 1863), Thomas William Maude, 
Joshua Strange Williams (appointed March 31, 1863), Hugh Percy 
Murray-Aynsley (appointed July 22, 1863; resigned November 13, 
1863), William Sefton Moorhouse (appointed October 27, 1863; re- 
signed November 17, 1863), Thomas Cass (appointed November 10, 

November 10, 1863, to December 4, 1863. 

Thomas William Maude, William Sefton Moorhouse (resigned Nov- 
ember 17, 1863), Hugh Percy Murray-Aynsley (resigned November 
13, 1863), Joshua Strange Williams. 

December 4, 1863, to June 8, 1866. 

Edward French Buttemer Harston (resigned February 10, 1864), William 
Eolleston (resigned June 16, 1865). George Arthur Emilius Eoss 
(resigned February 22, 1865), Edward Cephas John Stevens, William 
Thomas Locke Travers (appointed February 12, 1864; resigned June 
4, 1864), John Hall (appointed March 22, 1864; resigned March 19, 
1866), William Patten Cowlisliaw (appointed June 6, 1864), Edward 
Jollie (appointed June 16, 1865; resigned May 12, 1866), Francis 
Edward Stewart (appointed February 10, 1866). 


Executive Councils (Contiiiued). 
June 8, 1866, to October 17, 1866. 

Thomas Caps, Francis James Garrick, Francis Edward Stewart. 

October 17, 1866, to November 27, 1866. 

Thomas Cass, Francis James Garrick, Robert Wilkin, George Buckley 
(appointed November 20, 1866), Thomas William Maude (appointed 
November 20, 1866). 

November 29, 1866, to December 14, 1866. 

Thomas Cass, William Montgomery, Joshua Strange Williams, Robert 

December 14, 1866, to March 3, 1868. 

Joseph Beswick (resigned April 20, 1867), Thomas Smith Duncan (resigned 
March 26, 1867), Thomas William Maude (resigned February 27, 
1867), Robert Wilkin, Joshua Strange Williams (appointed March 
26, 1867), George Hart (appointed June 6, 1867), James Alexander 
Bonar (appointed August 13, 1867; resigned February 22, 1868). 

March 3, 1868, to June 4, 1869. 

William Montgomery (resigned May 31, 1869), Arthur Ormsby (resigned 
June 17, 1868), William Henry Wynn-Williams, George Leslie Lee 
(appointed June 10, 1868), Andrew Duncan (appointed June 1, 1869). 

June 4, 1869, to June 5, 1869. 

John Evans Brown, John Thomas Peacock, William Henry Wynn- 

June 5, 1869, to October 26, 1870. 

Alfred Hornbrook, Robert Heaton Rhodes. William Henry Wynn-Williams 

October 26, 1870, to August 7, 1871. 

John Evans Brown, Alfred Cox, William Browning Tosswill, Walter 


Executive Councils (Continued). 
August 7, 1871, to January 2, 1874. 

George Buckley (resigned October 14, 1871), William Patten Cowlishaw, 
Alfred Cox (resigned August 23, 1871), Arthur Charles Knight (re- 
signed February 17, 1872), Richard Westenra, Joseph Beswick (ap- 
pointed September 30, 1871), Andrew Duncan (appointed April 8, 


January 2, 1874, to April 15, 1875. 

Edward Jollie, Thomas Ingram Joynt, Thomas William Maude (Minis- 
try re-appointed May 11, 1874). 

April 15, 1875, to abolition of provinces (September 28, 1876). 

George Buckley (resigned June 7, 1876). William Miles Maskell (resigned 
May 2, 1876), John Thomas Peacock, William Henry Wynn- Williams, 
Arthur Charles Knight (appointed July 1, 1875), Henry Richard 
Webb (appointed June 3, 1876). 


There were twelve members of the first Provincial Council. In 1854 
the number was increased to twenty-four. In 1857 to twenty-six, and in 
1861 to thirty-five. 

The membership of the Provincial Council was enlarged again by the 
Provincial Council Extension Ordinance of 1866, the number of members 
being increased to forty-four, including five members from the West 
Coast. The West Coast members ceased to sit in the Canterbury Council 
at the end of 1867, on the separation of Westland, and the number re- 
mained then at thirty-nine until the abolition of provinces. The dis- 
tribution of seats varied at intervals with the movement of population. 


The Provincial Council met first in a house in Chester Street, near 
the river. The building had been used previously as the office of the 
" Guardian and Advertiser " newspaper. During 1856 the Council moved 
to a building in Oxford Terrace, opposite the Land Office and behind 
the Lyttelton Hotel (subsequently known as the Clarendon Hotel). One 
session during 1858 was held in the Town Hall, and then, on September 
28, 1859, the Council met for the first time in its own chamber, now the 
Land Board room in the Provincial Buildings. The stone chamber 
which formed the permanent home of the Council was used for the first 
time in November, 1865. 





1862-3 ... JOHN HALL 



1866 E. B. BISHOP 

1867 ... W. WILSON 


1868 W. WILSON 

1869 ... J. ANDERSON 

1870 A. DUNCAN 

1871 J. P. JAMESON 


1873 ... E. B. BISHOP 

1874 M. B. HAET 

1875-6 F. HOBBS 

1877 ... J. GAPES 

1878 ... H. THOMSON 

1879.1883 C. T. ICK 

1881 J. GAPES 

1882-3 J. G. RUDDENKLAU 

1884-5 C. P. HULBEET 

1886-7 A. AYEES 

1888-9 ... C. LOUISSON 

1890 S. MANNING 

1891 C. M. GEAY 

1892 W. PEUDHOE 


1894 ... ... T. GAPES 

1895 W. H. COOPEE 

1896 H. J. BESWICK 

1897 : W. H. COOPEE 

1898-9 C. LOUISSON 

1900 ... W. EEECE 

1901 ... A. E. G. EHODES 

1902 ... H. F. WIGEAM 

Greater Christchurch, Constituted 1903. 

1903 ... H. F. WIGBAM 
1904-5 ... C. M. GEAY 

1906 ... HON. SIE JOHN HALL, 


1907 ... GEO. PAYLING. 
1908-9-10 C. ALLISON 
1911 (May to July) ... T. E. TAYLOE 
1911-12 (July to April) ... ... J. J. DOUG ALL 

1912-16 . H. HOLLAND 



The Christchurch Municipal Eeserves, comprising parks, recreation 
grounds, endowments and various areas of land connected with the city 
services, have a total area of some 6758 acres. 
Within the City 

Cranmer Square 4-1-24 
Latimer Square 4-0-0 
Victoria Square 3-3-21 

Eeserved in the original plan of Christchurch, Victoria Square 
being then Market Square. Vested in the City Council under the 
Christchurch City Eeserves Act. 1877. 

Subsequently the eastern portion of Market Square, now oc- 
cupied by the band rotunda, was made a reserve for the purposes 
of a town hall and municipal offices, while the Council was given 
leasing powers in connection with the western portion, occupied 
by the Victoria statue, with a view to the establishment of a 
municipal market. Nothing was done in this direction. 
The river bank reserves, the fire brigade station in Oxford Terrace, 
the Godley statue block in Cathedral Square and various small portions 
of land used for fire tanks, cab stands and ornamental purposes were 
also vested in the Council by the Act of 1877. 

The Cathedral Square Act, 1883, gave the City Council certain ad- 
ditional land in Cathedral Square for the purposes of a roadway. 

Public Parks. 

Hagley Park and the Botanical Gardens (495 acres) were reserved in 
the original plan of Christchurch. They are controlled by a Domains 

Linwood Park (21 acres), and St. Albans Park (15 acres 1 rood 37 
perches) were acquired by the Linwood and St. Albans Borough Councils 
before amalgamation, primarily for use as sports grounds. 

Sydenham Park (14 acres roods 1 perch), acquired by the' Sydenham 
Borough Council, was originally the show ground belonging to the 
Canterbury Agricultural and Pa.storal Association. 

The Jerrold Street Eecreation Ground (5 acres) was vested in the 
Sydenham Borough Council by Crown grant on June 6, 1884. 

The Beckenham-Fisherton Eecreation Ground (11 acres 1 rood 24 
perches) acquired by purchase during 1910. 

Victoria Park (189 acres) was originally a quarry reserve, on the 
slopes of the Port Hills overlooking the city. In 1883 it was converted 
into a recreation ground, and placed under the control of a Board. 

Various Reserves and Endowments. 

The more important reserves and endowments outside the city are 
as follows : 

Bottle Lake, 818 acres, vested in city November 2, 1878, in trust for 
sanitary purposes, under the Christchurch City Eeserves Act. 

Bromley reserves (cemetery, small-pox hospital, slaughter-house and 
municipal purposes), total 76 acres (plus 7 acres of freehold at- 
tached to cemetery), vested in city by Provincial Council under 
Municipal Corporations Eeserves Ordinance, 1870. 

Cairnbrae endowment, 847 acres, vested in Borough of Sydenham. 
June, 1882, as "an endowment in aid of the borough funds." 

Geraldine endowment, 1998 acres, vested in city as endowment in aid 
of the borough funds, July 27, 1882. 

Lyndhurst endowment, 345 acres, granted to Boroueh of Sydenham, 
v October, 1882. 


Chaney's Sewage Reserve, 1136 acres; of this 936 acres were vested 
in the city in 1879, and 200 acres in the Sydenham Borough Council 
in 1884. 

New Brighton planting reserve, 516 acres, vested in the city, August 
28, 1884, " in trust for plantation purposes." 

Rakaia shingle reserve, 100 acres, vested in city, April 19, 1887. 

A Provincial Ordinance of December 3, 1862, vested in the City Council 
the site of the present municipal chamber (sixteen perches) in Oxford 
Terrace, also the corresponding section on the opposite side of Worcester 
Street, and two small additions to Market Square. 

Other areas of freehold land have been acquired and are being ac- 
quired from time to time in connection with the various city services. 


The harbour works at Lyttelton were begun by the Canterbury 
Association, and the first jetty had been built under the direction of 
Captain Thomas, agent for the Association, before the first four ships 
arrived. Its site was reclaimed in later years. A private wharf, 
known as Peacock's Wharf, was constructed soon afterwards. When 
the Provincial Government came into existence in 1853 it took over the 
harbour works from the Association and gradually extended them 
The progress made was not rapid, owing to the fact that the transport 
of goods to Christchurch, and the plains generally, was undertaken 
mainly by small craft, plying from Lyttelton to Heathcote, via Sumner. 
But in 1863, when the tunnel works were in progress, the Government 
decided to proceed with the equipment of the port on an adequate 
scale, and in February of that year, a Commission was appointed to 
prepare a report upon the eubject. At that time there were two 
wharves in Lyttelton, the Government Wharf, opposite Oxford Street, 
and Peacock's Wharf, situated some twenty-five chains further west, 
beyond the entrance to the tunnel. The Commission made recom- 
mendations, which resulted in the construction of a new jetty close 
to the Government Wharf, and later of breakwaters. Between 1853 
and 1876 the Provincial Government spent some 141,000 from Provincial 
revenues upon the provision of breakwaters and jetties, and the 
reclamation of the land required for the purpose of railway sidings and 
stores. After the abolition of provinces, in 1876, a Harbour Board 
was constituted by Act of the General Assembly, to control the shipping 
facilities at Lyttelton. The Board came into existence in 1877, and 
took over the Provincial works, as well as Peacock's Wharf. 

The inner harbour has a water area of 105 acres, and can accom- 
modate vessels drawing 30 feet. The depth of the basin is being gradu- 
ally increased, and the spoil used to reclaim adjacent land, which it is 
hoped will in the future become exceedingly valuable as a site for 
factories and stores. 

The constitution of the Lyttelton Harbour Board has been amended 
on several occasions. The present Board is constituted as follows: 

1 member elected by the electors in the combined district of the County 

of Waimairi and the Borough of Riocarton. 

2 members elected by the electors in the combined district of the 

Counties of Paparua, Tawera. Malvern, Springs. Ellesmere. Halpwell. 
Heathcote and Selwyn. and the Borough of Spreydon 


t member elected by the electors in the combined district of the 
Counties of Cheviot, Amuri, Waipara. Kowai and Ashley, the 
Mackenzie Town Board, and the Amberley Town Board. 

1 member appointed by His Excellency the Governor. 

4 members elected by the electors in the constituent district of the 
City of Christchurch. 

1 member elected by the electors in the combined district of the 
Boroughs of Kaiapoi and Eangiora, and the Counties of Rangiora, 
Eyre and Oxford. 

1 member elected by the payers of 3 and upwards in respect of harbour 
dues on ships during the 12 irionths preceding the election. 

1 member elected by the electors in the combined district of the 

Boroughs of New Brighton. Sumner, Woolston, Lyttelton and 
Akaroa, and the electors of the Counties of Akaroa, Wairewa and 
Mount Herbert. 

2 members elected by the electors in the combined district of the County 

of Ashburton and the Borough of Ashburton. 

The electoral roll used in each election is the one used in the election 
of members oi the County, Eoad Board or Borough concerned. 


The story begins in 1864 at the time of the foundation of the Ac- 
climatisation Society. This Society proposed to undertake the acclima- 
tisation and cultivation of useful trees, shrubs and flowers, as part of 
its work. The Provincial Council voted a sum of 1,000 to assist in 
these objects, and set up a commission " to promote the cultivation and 
planting of the Government Domain in connection with the objects of 
the Acclimatisation Society." The commission met for the first time 
on March 19, 1864; its members were Messrs. John Hall (Chairman), 
Henry Sewell, B. W. P. Miles and J. E. Hill. The commission was later 
converted into an advisory board, without much authority, to assist 
the Provincial Council in the management of its reserve. In case of 
difficulty, it appealed to the Government; for instance, on March 17, 
1868, when it was reported that some of the grazing tenants had allowed 
pigs and turkeys to be at large, to the detriment of the plantation and 
permanent pasture, it was " ordered that the Government be written to 
on the subject." Even in those days, however, the Board did much 
useful work, particularly by exchange of collections of indigenous New 
Zealand plants for those of other countries. Among other instances, 
may be noticed an exchange of this kind arranged in 1869 by Dr. von 
Haast, with his correspondent, Dr. Hooker, of Kew Gardens. It was 
about that time also that the plantation of Hagley Park was begun, 
and the Minute Book, carefully kept by Colonel A. Lean, the secretary 
of the Board, is a record of the trouble and consideration which was 
bestowed. It was in 1869 that the trees on the present Eolleston Avenue 
were planted. The strip of land on which they stand was originally 
a mill race reserve, situated between the Government Domain and the 
public thoroughfare. It was intended to convey water from the river 
at the Armagh Street bridge, and secure a good fall by returning it 
immediately below the Hospital. This reserve has since been placed 
under the control of the Domain Board. 

The Minutes record the planting in 1870 of the pine plantation near 
Victoria Lake, and of the avenue leading to the Plough Inn at Eiccar- 


ton in the same year, and of other plantations which have since become 
land marks. 

Complaints appear in the Minutes of damage by trespass from the 
Board's neighbours hares and pheasants on the one side from the 
Acclimatisation Society, and College boys on the other. 

The Canterbury Public Domain Act was passed by the Provincial 
Council in 1872, vesting the control of the Domain in the Superintendent, 
with power to delegate. By proclamation under that Act, January 16, 
1873. the first authorative Domain Board was constituted under the 
chairmanship of Mr. W. Guise Brittan. About that time, the Board 
began to distribute many thousands of surplus trees amongst the 
public bodies of Canterbury. The distribution was very wide-spread, 
extending as far as Temuka. The Board was thorough in its methods, 
and sometimes enquired before making a grant whether the land on 
which it was proposed to plant had been properly trenched, and at what 
distance apart it was intended to plant. The railway came in for large 
grants of trees to make its plantations. 

Another public service performed by the Board deserves record. 
The Provincial Council, in 1874. proposed to alienate a portion of the 
Domain as a site for Canterbury College. The Board carried its 
protest to the length of resigning en bloc, and the Government 
abandoned the proposal. 

After the abolition of provinces, the Canterbury Public Domain Act 
was superseded by the Public Domains Act, 1881, the Board being 
thereafter appointed by the General Government. 

The question of finance has always been a matter of some dimculty. 
An attempt was made after the formation of Greater Christchurch to 
put it on a fair footing, the City Council and Selwyn County Council 
contributing equal amounts, and the Riccarton Road Board assisting. 
The Christchurch Domain Act, of 1904, did not provide for finance, but, 
by the amending Act of 1913, the Board was given power to make levies 
on certain neighbouring local authorities. 

Mr. John Hall was first Chairman of the Board; he was succeeded by 
Mr. Cyrus Davie, who held office till his death in 1871. The later 
Chairmen have been: 

William Guise Brittan, July 21. 1871 October, 1874. 

R. J. S. Harman, November 3, 1874 September, 1881. 

Leonard Harper, September 14, 1881 , 1892. 

H. P. Murray-Aynsley, February 8, 1893 January 13, 1897. 

Win. Jacques, January 13, 1897 January 16, 1902. 

H. P. Murray-Aynsley, January 16, 1902 February 12, 1906. 

H. J. Beswick, February 12, 1906 Still in office. 

It is very generally recognised that there is nothing south of the Line 
which so closely resembles an English Park as does Hagley, and this 
is due, firstly, to the manner in which the original planting was carried 
out, but even more to the constant thinning of the plantation. The 
Board has constantly been accused of vandalism in cutting down trees, 
but has steadily maintained its policy, and the end has justified its 


The first Christchurch Drainage Board was elected on December 17, 
1875, under the Christchurch District Drainage Act of that year. Prior 
to that time the various local bodies had controlled drainage matters 
within their own areas. No sewage system had been established, and 
the division of authority delayed the adoption of a comprehensive 


scheme. The Board was given control of the surface and underground 
drainage over the whole Christchurch district, comprising an area of 
some 32,000 acres, extending eight miles inland from the sea. It has 
provided the city and suburbs with a system of sewers and storm-water 
drains, worked in conjunction with a sewage farm near the coast. 
The revenue of the Board is provided by rates, collected through the 
various local bodies. The Board is composed of twelve members, each 
member being elected by a sub-district for a three years' term. The 
total expenditure on works up to March 31. 1916, has been 386,310. 


The Canterbury Philosophical Institute (originally the Canterbury 
Philosophical Society), was founded on July 24, 1862, largely as a result 
of the efforts of Sir Julius von Haast, then Dr. Haast. The young 
Society received friendly greetings from Charles Darwin, Tyndall and 
Hooker, and its members busied themselves from the first in the study 
of the geology and natural history of Canterbury. It assisted in the 
establishment of the Canterbury Museum. In 1868 the organisation 
became affiliated with the New Zealand Institute, and so secured a 
medium for the publication of papers. The Canterbury Institute has 
undertaken many important local investigations, and it has been 
connected, through its more prominent members, with wider spheres 
of science. Undoubtedly, it has had an influence upon the higher 
education of the province and of the Dominion, and it has made its 
contributions to the standard literature of science. 


The first step towards the foundation of the Canterbury Jockey 
Club was taken at a meeting held in the Christchurch Beading Eoom 
on September 13, 1851. 

The meeting was presided over by Edward Jerningham Wakefield, 
and the following Provisional Committee elected: J. R. Godley, G. D. 
Lockhart, Hon. J. Stuart Wortley, T. Hanmer, J. C. Watts Russell, E. M. 
Templar, W. G. Brittan and E. J. Wakefield. 

Riccarton was at that meeting suggested as a suitable site for the 

A resolution was carried " That a Jockey Club, to be called the 
Canterbury Jockey Club, be formed, and that such Club consist of those 
gentlemen who shall, before the 15th of October, 1851, intimate their 
desire to become members, and to pay an entrance fee of one guinea, 
and a yearly subscription, payable in advance, of one guinea." 

The proposed Club did not come into immediate existence, but horse 
races formed part of the programme at the first anniversary cele- 
brations, on December 16, 1851. Four races were run on a course in 
Hagley Park, at the north end. There were races again at the two 
succeeding anniversary days on the same course, and on November 4. 
1854, another meeting was held at the Golden Fleece Hotel, presided 
over by Mr. J. Cracroft Wilson, to consider a proposal to form a 
Canterbury Jockey Club " for the purpose of encouraging excellence in 
the breed of horses, promoting the adoption of fair and useful regula- 
tions for horse racing, keeping a registry of the pedigree and per- 
formances of all racing stock, acquiring a.nd preparing a suitable 
racecourse, and superintending the details of all necessary arrangements 
for the above objects." The Club was then formed, and a memorial was 


sent to the Governor asking that a reserve should be made for a race- 
course, the neighbourhood of the present site being suggested. 

The rules of the Club, drafted by a committee, were adopted at a 
meeting on December 2, 1854, and officers were appointed, Mr. J. Cracroft 
Wilson becoming the first Chairman of the Canterbury Jockey Club, Mr. 
E. Jerningham Wakefield, Secretary, and Mr. W. Guise Brittan, Treasurer. 

No races were held that year, the Club deciding that the usual 
anniversary meeting should be postponed until the following March. 

The Government made the reserve as desired (the present site of the 
course at Riccarton), and two days' racing were held on March 6 and 7, 
1855. The chief race was the Canterbury Cup of 50 sovs., which was won 
by Mr. G. H. Lee's "Tamerlane " (his colours, yellow jacket and black 
cap, became famous in after years under different ownership). The 
General Government by deed dated March 31, 1857, and signed by 
Governor Gore Browne, vested some 300 acres of land at Riccarton in 
the Superintendent of Canterbury, in trust for the purpose of a public 
racecourse, and by the Racecourse Lease Ordinance, passed by Pro- 
vincial Council in October, 1859, this land, the site of the present race- 
course, was leased to Isaac Thomas Cookson, the Chairman of the 
Canterbury Jockey Club (he had succeeded Mr. Cracroft Wilson, who had 
returned to India), or to the Chairman for the time being; the rent 
to be not less than 15 per annum, and the term 28 years. The security 
of tenure afforded by this Ordinance enabled the Club to proceed with 
permanent improvements, and in 1860, two members of the Club (Messrs. 
A. R. Creyke and H. P. Lance) guaranteed the cost of erecting a grand 
stand, a stone building capable of holding 400 people, which was used 
for the first time at the meeting in March, 1864. 

Railway communication to the course was opened on November 3, 1877, 
and a telegraph office in 1879, since abolished in the interests of public 

By the Christchurch Racecourse Reserve Act, 1878. a Board of Trustees 
was constituted, with perpetual succession, to whom control of the 
course was granted. 

The totalisator was introduced at the Autumn meeting in 1880. 

Space does not admit of detailed reference to the long list of 
" improvements " by which the Club's magnificent property at Riccarton 
has been gradually built up since the inception of the Club in 1854. 
when it was considered necessary to enact as one of the rules a proviso 
that " bullock drays will not be admitted to the course." 

At the Jubilee Meeting of the Club on May 27, 1904, Mr. George 
Gatonby Stead, the Chairman, took occasion to review the progress made 
in the fifty years of the Club's existence. In doing so, he paid a well- 
deserved tribute to the splendid efforts of the several committees which 
had carried on the affairs of the Club since its inception. The Club 
in fact, has been singularly fortunate in securing the services of a 
succession of men of character and capacity to act as stewards and com- 
mittee men. But it will probably not be thought invidious to single 
out the name of Mr. Stead himself for special reference. 

Mr. Stead was well known as the leading racehorse owner for many 
years in Australasia. As such he commenced his career in 1877 when, 
under the racing name of G. Fraser, he won the Derby with " Trump 
Card." But it is not as a horse owner that he need here be referred 
to. For more than thirty years he acted as Honorary Treasurer to 
the Club, and subsequently for some time as Chairman. During the 
whole of that long period he gave freely to the Club his fine abilities 
as a business man. and his powers of organisation, and to him is largely 


due the wonderful success of- the Canterbury Jockey Club. To his 
knowledge of character is due the selection of the last two Secretaries 
of the Club Mr. C. J. Penfold, 1882-1890, and Mr. W. H. E. Wanklyn, 1890, 
(still in office), who have both proved themselves admirable officers, 
and greatly assisted in the prosperity of the institution. 


The Canterbury Society of Arts was founded on July 8, 1880, under the 
presidency of Hon. H. J. Tancred. The early success of this society 
was greatly due to the energy and enthusiasm of Captain Garcia, who, 
besides being a generous patron himself, was an energetic organiser 
and canvasser. Thanks to his efforts and the support he received from 
an art-loving public, the Society now owns a fine gallery in Durham 
Street, in which is housed a permanent collection of pictures, valued 
at over 5,000, containing examples of the work of many good artists. 
The surplus assets of the Society over liabilities amount to the sub- 
stantial sum of about 7,000, and the annual exhibition, usually held 
in March, is not only of value in encouraging local talent, but has 
done much to promote art education in Canterbury. 

In addition to a large general membership, the Society has more 
than a hundred working members. 


The Christchurch Beautifying Association was formed in 1897 at a 
meeting called by the late Dr. Irving. A similar Association had then 
recently been formed in Dunedin under the title of an " Amenities 
Society;" its objects, expressed in general terms, were the artistic and 
scenic improvement of the city, and the cultivation of all that is 
beautiful. By its constitutions, the Christohurch Beautifying Associa- 
tion was placed under the presidency of the Mayor of Christchurch for 
the time being, and has since been recognised by the City Council, which 
has not only made contributions in cash, but has assumed the care and 
maintenance of many of the plantations made by the Association. 

The work done by the Association includes the planting of the 
river banks and various waste places with trees and flowers, notably 
the mill island at the Hereford Street Bridge, Barker's Avenue, called 
after the late S. D. Barker, an active member of the Association; also 
Victoria Square has been planted with flowers and shrubs, and Rugby 
Street, Moorhouse and Linwood Avenues with trees. 

The Society can also take credit for instituting an active crusade 
against ugly hoardings, sky signs and other advertising eyesores. Mr. 
Albert Kaye, one of the original members, is now its Vice- President, a 
position he has occupied for several years past. 


In the early days of Canterbury, very little attention was paid to 
the scenic beauties of the Port Hills. These hills they would be 
classed as mountains in England were regarded as obstacles to 
traffic, to be tunnelled through or traversed by costly roads. The 
only public reserve then in existence in that locality, now known as 
Victoria Park, was originally set aside as a public quarry. It was 
due to the Hon. W. Eolleston that in 1883, the purpose of this reserve 
was changed, and it became a scenic and recreative reserve under the 


control of a special Board. Prior to the advent of the electric trams, 
there had been some small settlement on the lower spurs of the Cash- 
mere Hills, but by the arrival of electric cars, a great impetus was 
given to this settlement. It was due mainly to the public enterprise 
of one of the city members of Parliament, Mr. H. O. Ell, that the people 
of Christchurch were brought to recognise the recreative and scenic 
value of the hills so near the city. 

It was in 1909 that the Summit Road Association was formed ; lie 
aim being to make a carriage road along the lip of the vast crater 
within which lies Lyttelton Harbour. Partly by the generosity of 
owners of the land, and partly by public support, the land was acquired 
and a great portion of the Summit Boad has now been made. It runs 
nearly on a level, swinging round the contours of the hills, sometimes 
011 the side of the plains, with glorious views of the Southern Alps, and 
sometimes almost overhanging the land-locked expanse of Lyttelton 
Harbour. Finding its efforts appreciated by the public, the Association 
has gradually extended its programme, and has secured for the public 
various public reserves along its line of route. Some of these include 
the few remaining patches of native bush which still exist as objects of 
beauty, and give shelter to some of the indigenous birds which are 
unfortunately fast disappearing. 

It is also intended to continue the Summit Boad on the Peninsula 
side of Lyttelton Harbour, and to connect it with that other great 
volcanic crater which forms the splendid harbour of Akaroa. 

It is difficult to over-estimate the value of such an asset as Christ- 
church possesses in its Summit Eoad. Older cities highly prize similar 
possessions; witness the pride taken by the people of Edinburgh in 
their drive round Arthur's seat. The Bight Hon. James Bryce, at that 
time H.B.M., Ambassador to the United States, and now Viscount Bryce, 
visited Christchurch in June, 1912. He was driven to the Summit of 
Dyer's Pass, and shown the panorama of the range extending from the 
Kaikouras in the north till it melted into blue distance in the southern 
horizon. Mr. Bryce was a great mountaineer and a member of the 
Alpine Club. His enthusiasm was unbounded; he stood bareheaded; 
" I take off my hat," he said, " to that view." 


The Christchurch Club was founded in 1856. The first Minute Book 
is still in existence, and records a meeting held on March 16, 1856, those 
present being Captain B. Woollcombe, K.N., and Messrs. John Hall, 
Edward Jollie and George E. A. Boss. 

The meeting was held at a lodging-house kept by Mr. Q. B. Woodman, 
which stood at the corner of Peterborough and Durham Streets, on the 
site of the present Gladstone Hotel. Captain Woollcombe was elected 
as first President, and Mr. Boss as Secretary and Treasurer. Various 
other gentlemen were invited to join as original members, and Mr. 
Woodman's house was leased furnished. 

The Club was founded by country residents, or " squatters," to 
provide them with a town home during their visits to Christchurch, 
and soon after its formation an unsuccessful attempt was made to 
vest the control entirely in the hands of country members. In February, 
1858, an acre of land on the corner of Latimer Square and Worcester 
Street was purchased from the late Mr Samuel Bealey. The money 
for building was raised chiefly from members, who took shares of 50, 
bearing interest. Plans for the club house were prepared by Messrs. 


Mountfort and Luck, and were approved and accepted at a meeting 
held on September 21, 1859, the estimated cost being 3,158, and on May 
1, 1862, the general meeting of the Club was held for the first time in 
the present building. 


Mr. FitzGerald proposed, in 1853, that a private company should be 
formed to build a Town Hall, which was much wanted. He suggested 
placing it on Mr. Wakefield's section where the United Service Hotel 
now stands an excellent central position. The proposal fell through 
for want of financial support. A later attempt to form a company 
was successful, and a wooden building was erected, and opened on 
October 1, 1857. It stood where Messrs. Strange and Co.'s premises are 
now situated, but the name of Town Hall was scarcely warranted, as, 
except for a subsidy of 300, the cost of the building was provided by 
shareholders. The Government had the use of a front room, and the 
privilege of the first claim to the use of the Hall in return for the 
subsidy. A session of the Provincial Council was afterwards held 
there, and it was also used for a polling place and for other public 
purposes. The Hall was rebuilt in stone in 1862-3, and afterwards 
added to, but was so damaged by the earthquake in June, 1869, that it 
was condemned as unsafe, and wa.s sold in March, 1871. to Mr. L. E. 
Nathan for 3,900. For some reason the transaction does not appear 
to have been completed, and the property was again offered on Septem- 
ber 29, 1873, under instructions from the directors of the Christchurch 
Town Hall Company, Ltd. By this time, the value of city property 
had increased, and the " Press," on September 30, 1873, announced that 
" The sale of the Town Hall property, consisting of the freehold land 
fronting on High Street, the debris of the building and the old Town 
Hall and adjoining room, took place yesterday. . . . Mr. E. Strange, 
for Messrs. W. Strange and Co. then bid 7,000, at which price, after a 
little delay, it was knocked down amid loud cheers. The' principal 
bidders were Messrs. W. D. Wood, Strange, Harris, Oram, etc. . . . 
The total amount realised by the sale of the property was 7.300, a very 
satisfactory result as far as the shareholders were concerned." 

Since that time, Christchurch has been without even a nominal 
Town Hall. 


The rivers Avon and Heatheote effect a junction not very far from 
Sumner, forming a large shallow lagoon, the greater portion being 
mud flats at low water. The water from this lagoon finds an outlet to 
the sea at Sumner, but the joint action of sea and river forms a sand 
bar across the mouth, which at low tide is sometimes only about two 
feet below water level. Until the tunnel was built, all goods landed 
at Lyttelton and intended for Christchurch had to be taken across this 
bar, and much loss occurred in the process. 

It was in those early days that certain canal reserves were made, so 
that instead of discharging lighters at the " Bricks," the goods might be 
carried on to Christchurch. The construction of the tunnel ended the 
project, as goods ceased to be lightered since they could be safely carried 
by rail direct to Christchurch. But in later years an agitation broke out 
in favour of making an entrance from the sea into Sumner Estuary, and 
excavating a harbour there. The arguments most commonly used to 
support the idea were that Christchurch was handicapped as a manu- 
facturing and commercial centre by double handling of its goods at 


Christchurch and Lyttelton, and by extortionate "tunnel" rates; that 
the level land available for business purposes at Lyttelton was too 
cramped owing to the hills descending so steeply into the sea. That in 
any case Lyttelton Harbour was becoming inadequate to cope with its 
trade, and expensive harbour works on a large scale would have soon 
to be undertaken, and that at present the whole commerce of Canterbury 
passed through the Lyttelton Tunnel, and would be utterly disorganised 
If it were to be destroyed or seriously damaged. Another argument 
often used was that by the sale or lease of the reclaimed land as sites 
for stores and factories, the Harbour Board could recoup itself for a con- 
siderable portion of the expense of construction. No doubt if Lyttel- 
ton were abandoned and a new port formed at Woolston or even nearer 
to Christchurch, the frontages on that part would become exceedingly 
valuable, but such increases of value would be really at the expense 
of those who now possess sites and buildings in Lyttelton, which would 
suffer a similar decrease in value. The arguments used on the other 
side were that Lyttelton was a. natural harbour, easy of access from 
the sea to vessels of the greatest draught, but that there was no knowing 
what the cost might be of maintaining the entrance to the Sumner 
haroour, even if the initial difficulties of its construction were success- 
fully surmounted, and that in bad weather it would be extremely 
difficulty of access from the sea. Opponents of the canal also claimed 
that by a different arrangement of the wharves and sidings, the capacity 
of the present Lyttelton Harbour could be increased sufficiently to meet 
all requirements for a great many years. 

It was decided to obtain expert advice from Messrs. Coode, Son and 
Matthews, whose representative came out for the purpose. His report 
was claimed as favourable by both sides. It was to the effect that a 
harbour in the estuary could be formed, but at great expense. The 
matter then rested with the Lyttelton Harbour Board, a composite body 
representing various interests. Lyttelton, of course, was represented, 
and naturally was against the proposal. The Government also was 
against it, as it would mean the loss of the revenue of the most payable 
short line of railway in New Zealand. The country districts were 
against it. as it would mean a large expenditure of money, for which 
the country would be proportionately liable, while the benefit, if any, 
would fall to the share of the business people of the city. The 
opponents of the canal were in a majority, and in 1909, two reports 
on it were published. The majority report, against the proposal, was 
signed by five members, and the minority report by four. 

This did not end the agitation, and it was then agreed to appoint 
three commissioners, whose decision should be final. The men selected as 
commissioners lived outside the province, so would not be liable to be 
influenced by local consideration. They were men of approved business 
knowledge and capacity. Mr. William Ferguson, late Engineer of the 
Wellington Harbour Board, was chairman. The commissioners reported 
in favour of the retention of Lyttelton as the harbour. 

Beaten on the main question, the supporters of the canal are now 
asking that a supplementary harbour, suitable only for coastal boats 
carrying timber and coal, should be established in the estuary. 

As the question is still in a controversial stage, it is not intended 
to discuss its merits in these pages. It ie probably common ground 
to both parties that so long as the whole produce of North Canterbury 
depends for an outlet on a single tunnel one mile and three quarters 
in length, the commerce of that portion of the province is exposed to 
grave risk. 



Canterbury. Ohristchurch. Lyttelton. 

December, 1856 5,347 710 765 

(At this time 70,148 acres of land had been 
sold in the province, and 1,100 buildings erected. 
The nnmber of sheep in Canterbury was 220,788.) 

March, 1857 6,230 953 770 

(For the first time the population of Christ- 
church exceeded that of Lyttelton. Dwellings, 
1,192; sheep, 276,089. Ages of population: 
Under forty years, 5,577 persons; forty years to 
sixty years, 611 persons ; over sixty years, 42 

March, 1859 8,967 1,443 1,135 

December, 1861 16,040 3,205 1,944 

December, 1864 32,247 6,423 2,436 

(Christchurch figures are for the electoral 
district of Christchurch city from 1864 onwards). 

February, 1871 46,801 12,466 2,551 

March, 1874 58.770 16,945 2,902 

(By this time the Avon, Heathcote and Kaia- 
poi electorates contained a portion of what 
properly was city population.) 

December, 1902 ... 135,858 42,286 4,023 . 

April. 1915 187,905 58,169* 4,396 

(*These figures represent the population of the area under the juris- 
diction of the Christchurch City Council. The population of Christchurch 
including adjacent suburbs in 1915, was 87,756.) 

Area of City (31st March, 1915), 5278 acres. 
150 Miles of Streets, aggregating 966 acres. 
Capital Value at Last Valuation, 12,027,372. 


The Author desires to acknowledge the assistance he has obtained from a very 
excellent summary published by (he Christchurch " Press " on the occasion 
of the Jubilee of that Journal on May 25, 1911. 


December 16 

December 17 

December 20 

December 27 






February 16 

June 21 

July 20 

September 13 

November 28 





August 17 

December 16 

December 18 


February 28 

May 14 

Arrival of the "Charlotte Jane" and "Randolph" at 

Arrival of the " Sir George Seymour." 

Meeting of land purchasers decided in favour of Christ- 
church as the capital of the settlement. 

Arrival of the " Cressy." 

Colonists' Council elected. 

First number of the " Lyttelton Times " published. 

Union Bank of Australia opened at Lyttelton. 

Land Office opened at Christchurch and selection of 
rural and town lands by colonists commenced. 

Construction of road between Heathcote Ferry and 
Christchurch begun. 

First sale by auction of town sections in Lyttelton and 
Christchurch on behalf of the Association. 

Road between Christchurch and Riccarton opened. 

Church of St. Michael and All Angels opened. 

Meeting held in Christchurch regarding the formation 
of a Canterbury Jockey Club. 

Bishop Selwyn appointed Rev. O. Mathias and Rev. 
R. B. Paul as his " commissaries." The latter re- 
signed in 1853 on his removal to Wellington, after 
which the Rev. O. Mathias acted alone. 

Road from Christchurch to Papanui begun. 

Meeting of Churchmen set up a committee to co-operate 
with other settlements in obtaining form of govern- 
ment for the Church of England in New Zealand. 

Society of Canterbury Colonists formed to take the 
place of the Society of Land Purchasers, which had 
been dissolved. 

The first wheeled vehicle (a dray) passed over the 
Bridle Track. 

First Anniversary Day celebrated by races in Hagley 
Park, and by horticultural show. 

Farewell breakfast to Mr. and Mrs Godley on the eve 
of their departure for England. 

Boundaries of Canterbury proclaimed. 

First weekly market held in Christchurch. The 
market was risited by " fifty persons during the 
day." Wheat sold at from 10/- to 12/- a bushel. 




July 38 

July 23 

August 20 

August 31 to 

September 10 

September 27 





June 16 

September 15 

September 27 

April 7 


October 10 
November 8 


February 7 
March 86 


September 8 

November 7 

December 25 

Christchurch Horticultural, Agricultural and Botanical 

Society held its first meeting. 
Mr. J. E. FitzGerald elected first Superintendent of 

Election of first representative of Christchurch in 

General Assembly (Mr. H. Sewell). 

Election of first Canterbury Provincial Council. 
First Provincial Council opened by the Superintendent 

(Mr. J. E. FitzGerald). 
Cattle Show held in Market Place. 
Inauguration of St Augustine Lodge of Freemasons. 

First number of " Standard " published. (This 

journal was continued to March, 1866). 
Meeting at Lyttelton to promote steam communication 

by water between Lyttelton, Christchurch, Eaiapoi 

and Akaroa. 
Day of fasting to implore the Divine blessing on the 

British arms in the Crimea. 

Canterbury Steam Navigation Company formed to pro- 
vide communication between the port and the 

Coal from the Malvern Hills on sale in Christchurch 
at 5 10s. a ton. 

Christ's College incorporated by Provincial Council. 

The Canterbury Association Ordinance passed, by 
which the Provincial Council took over the assets 
and liabilities of the Association. 

Canterbury Waste Lands Regulations passed by Pro- 
vincial Council. 

Members of the Church of England, at the suggestion 
of Bishop Selwyn, prayed Her Majesty Queen 
Victoria to appoint the Rev. H. J. C. Harper to oe 
Bishop of Christchurch. 

First sale of Town Reserves. 

Mr. Joseph Palmer arrived from Adelaide to open the 
Union Bank of Australia in Christchurch. 

First wool ship to leave Lyttelton for London direct 
(the " William and Jane," 498 tons), sailed. She 
struck a rock on the way out of port, but was got 
off undamaged. 

Public holiday, with sports, opposite the White Hart 
Hotel, to mark the conclusion of peace between 
Russia and England. 

A wayside cross and drinking tank, the gift of Mrs. 
Godley to Canterbury, were erected on the Heath- 
cote side of the Bridle Track. 

The Provincial Council decided to have the seal of 
the Canterbury Association converted into a seal 
for the Province. 

Bishop Harper installed as first Bishop of Christ- 



February 8 .. 




July 24 

August 24 

September 30 

October 1 

November 4 


January 6 

May 4 

May 31 

June 20 

November 11 ... 


April 7 ... 

August 19 ... 

September 14 ... 

October 25 ... 

November 4 ... 

November 4 ... 

November 19 .. 

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church opened. 

First passage over the Bridle Track of a spring cart 

with luggage, drawn by bullocks. 
Provincial Council recommended the expenditure of a 

sum not exceeding 1,500 in clearing the Avon and 

Heathcote Rivers of water-cress. 

Provincial Council passed first educational ordinance. 
Superintendent assented to an Ordinance authorising 

construction of White's Bridge over the Waimaka- 

Foundation stone of Christ's College laid by Bishop 

Christchurch-Lyttelton road, via Sumner and Evans 

Pass, opened by Mr. J. E. FitzGerald, Superinten- 
Mr. FitzGerald sailed for England to take up hie 

duties as Emigration Agent for Canterbury. 
Town Hall opened (see notes in Appendix). 
Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse elected Superintendent. 

Foundation stone of Provincial Council Building laid. 

Last portion of the Christchurch Town Reserves sold 
at from 102 to 272 per acre; one acre brought 

White's Bridge over the Waimakariri opened. 

Exports for the half year had amounted to 100,596, 
and wharf accommodation at Lyttelton was being 

Committee set up by the Provincial Council to con- 
sider the establishment of railway communciation 
between Christchurch and Lyttelton. 

Canterbury Rifles organised. 

Lyttelton Chamber of Commerce established (after- 
wards re-named Canterbury Chamber of Commerce.) 

The Provincial Council met for the first time in its 
own premises, in what is now known as the Land 
Board room of the Provincial Buildings. 

Report of Mr. G. R. Stephenson, recommending the line 
of the present Christchurch-Lyttelton railway and 
tunnel, laid before the Provincial Council. 

Superintendent assented to the Racecourse Ordinance, 
by which about 300 acres at Riccarton were leased 
to the Canterbury Jockey Club for the purposes of 
a racecourse. 

Superintendent assented to the Public Hospital Or- 
dinance, setting aside five acres of Hagley Park 
for the purposes of a hospital and appointing a 
Board of Governors. 

Inwood's Mill on the Avon, at the Hereford Street 
Island, opened. 

Mr. Ladbrook drove a four-in-hand from Christchurch 
to Lyttelton. via Sumner. 



December 4 


November 18 

January 4 

April 29 









October 17 

October 28 

December 7 


January 6 

February 12 

News received that a provisional contract had been 
entered into in London for the construction of the 
Christchurch-Lyttelton railway and tunnel. 

Work begun at the Lyttelton end of the tunnel. 
Messrs. Smith and Knight, the contractors for the 
Lyttelton Tunnel, repudiated their contract. 

Provincial Council authorised Mr. Moorhouse (Super- 
intendent) to endeavour to arrange a railway loan 
and find contractors for the construction of the 
Lyttelton Tunnel. 

Mr. John Marshman appointed Immigration Agent in 
London in succession to Mr. J. B. FitzGerald. 

Mr. Moorhouse, Superintendent, returned from Mel- 
bourne, bringing with him a provisional contractor 
for the Lyttelton Tunnel. 

Provisional contract and loan arrangements in con- 
nection with the Lyttelton Tunnel approved by 
the Provincial Council. 

First number of the " Christchurch Press " published. 

Mr. W. S. Moorhouse turned the first sod of the 
Christchurch-Lyttelton railway at Heathcote. 

Bank of New South Wales commenced business in 
Christchurch, at Mr. W. S. Moorhouse's premises in 
Hereford Street, under the management of Mr. 
C. W. Turner, an old Canterbury settler, who had 
returned to take charge of the branch. 

Rush to Otago goldfields. 

Christchurch Club opened its present premises with 
a ball. 

Mr. J. E. Godley died. 

Christchurch Horticultural Society established. 

Canterbury Commissioners of the Great Exhibition in 
London despatched Canterbury produce for ex- 

Christchurch gazetted a municipal district. 

First election of Lyttelton Municipal Council (Dr. 
Donald, Chairman). 

Provincial Government accepted a tender for the 
construction of a telegraph line between Christ- 
church and Lyttelton. 

The newly-formed Bank of New Zealand opened in 
Cashel Street. 

First meeting of Municipal Council of Christchurch : 
Mr. John Hall elected Chairman. 

Death of Mr. E. G. Wakefield in Wellington. 

The Municipal Council decided to light the city with 
sixty-two kerosene lamps. 

Christchurch-Lyttelton telegraph line opened to the 
public. (The first telegraph line in New Zealand). 

Canterbury Philosophical Society founded. 






October 28 

December 26 


January 23 

February 9 

February 10 

March 2 






Provincial Government arranged to despatch pros- 
pecting parties in search of a goldfield. 

Agricultural and Pastoral Show held in a paddock 
north of Latimer Square, with entrance from 
Madras Street. 

Meeting of citizens resolved to erect a statue in the 
city in memory of Mr. J. R. Godley. 

First exhibition of the Christchurch Horticultural 
Society, " in the public garden. Cathedral Square." 

Agricultural and Pastoral Association formed, Mr. 
Robert Wilkin, President. 

Municipal Council decided to sink three experimental 
artesian wells in the city. 

Court of Appeal sat for the first time in Christchurch. 

City Council held its first meeting under a new 
Ordinance, which had raised it from the status 
of a Municipal Council (The Governor's assent to 
the Christchurch City Council Ordinance was gazet- 
ted in February. In April the Council adopted the 
corporate seal, as used since that time.) 

Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association 
purchased fourteen acres in Colombo Street south 
for 1,560, as a Show Ground. (Now Sydenham 

The fund for the erection of the Anglican Cathedral 
had reached 15.000. 

Christchurch Gas Company formed. 

Twenty-five acres on South Belt bought by Govern- 
ment as a site for a railway station. 

First locomotive engine brought into Canterbury was 
landed at Ferrymead. The engine was named 
" The Pilgrim." 

The first cab-stand established in the city for one 
cab only. 

Two oaks planted in the south-east portion of the town 
belt in honour of the marriage of the Prince of Wales 
and Princess Alexandra. The situation was de- 
scribed as the entrance of Christchurch, as all 
traffic came by Sumner and Ferry Road. The 
Prince of Wales Oak was planted by the Super- 
intendent, and the Princess Alexandra Oak by Mr. 
John Ollivier. 

Seventy volunteers left for the North Island to take 
part in the Maori War. 

Canterbury Chamber of Commerce removed from Lyt- 
telton to Christchurch. 

Cobb and Co. placed a coach on the Christchurch- 
Timaru service instead of the cart used previously. 

Opening of the railway between Christchurch and 
Ferrymead. The line was leased to Messrs. Holmes 
and Co. It was the first line of railway opened 
for traffic in New Zealand 




February 10 
March 15 










September 16 
October 1 

October 12 
December 16 

December 24 

January 24 

March 1 

March 2 


November 21 
December 2 

The Cricket Match between All England Eleven and 
Canterbury Twenty-two was won by the visitors. 
English Captain, Geo. 1'arr; Canterbury Captain, 
H. P. Lance; Secretary Canterbury team, E. C. J. 
Stevens. (Scores: Canterbury 30 and 105; Eng- 
land, 137.) 

First artesian well sunk by City Council (81 feet). 

Bank of Australasia opened; W. L. Hawkins, 

The first hansom cab reached Christchurch. 

Opening of iron swing bridge over the Heathcote. 

Canterbury Acclimatisation Society formed. 

Roman Catholic Church in Barbadoes Street opened. 

Yen. Archdeacon O. Mathias died. 

First tree, an oak, planted in Hagley Park. 

First steeplechase at Biccarton. (Bun on Mr. Wake- 
field's farm. Winner disqualified, race re-run on 
August 10). 

New Town Hall (rebuilt) opened in Christchurch. 

Jewish Synagogue opened. 

Christchurch Hospital placed under the control of the 
Superintendent, and resident surgeon appointed 
(Dr. H. H. Prins), under the Hospital and Chari- 
table Aid Ordinance, 1864. 

Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry formed. 

Foundation stone of the Anglican Cathedral laid by 
Bishop Harper. 

First street gas lamp lighted in Christchurch. A 
dinner was given by the Gas Company to tne 
workmen engaged in installing the gas system, 
Mr. Isaac Luck, Chairman of the Company, presid- 

The first steam fire engine "The Extinguisher," brought 
into the city. 

Bush to the West Coast goldfields began. 

Godley Head light first exhibited. 

"Canterbury Gazette" proclaimed the West Canter- 
bury goldfield, on the West Coast. Public meeting in 
the Town Hall urged the Government to make a 
road to the West Coast, and establish a gold escort, 
lest the profits of the diggings should go to Nelson. 

First publication of Canterbury " Punch." 

Mr. E. Dobson recommended the construction of West 
Coast Boad, via Bealey and Otira Gorge. 

Contract signed for the construction of the Southern 
Eailway to Eakaia (Messrs. Holmes and Co., con- 

Provincial Council met in the newly-completed stone 

Domains Board constituted to control Hagley Park 
and the Domain. 




February 6 ... Telegraph communication with Hokitika established. 

March 23 ... Opening of the West Coast road from Ohristchurch to 

Hokitika. Cobb and Co.'s coach had traversed the 

road earlier, reaching Uokitika on March 15. 

June 24 ... Panama mail service opened by the despatch from 

Wellington of the " Rakaia," 1,500 tons, 400 h.p. 
August 16 ... Cook Strait cable service opened. 

September 24 ... Bank of New Zealand occupied its present premises. 
The site had been acquired in the preceding March. 
Flood waters from the Waimakariri caused flooding of 

the Avon. 
Southern Railway opened to Rolleston. 



January 14 

Sir George Grey, Governor, visited Christchurch after 
an absence of fifteen years. 

January 19 ... Caledonian Society formed. 

April 29 ... Public dinner to Mr. Crosbie Ward on his departure 

for England as Agent of the Provincial Govern- 

May 24 ... Lyttelton Tunnel pierced. 

August 6 ... Godley Statue unveiled by Mr. C. C. Bowen, who 

had been Mr. Godley's private secretary. The 
statue afterwards was handed by the Superinten- 
dent to the City Council. 

September 21 ... Trout ova arrived from Tasmania. 

October 5 ... Southern Railway line opened as far as Selwyn 

October 23 ... Christ's College Chapel opened. 

November 10 ... Death of Mr. Crosbie Ward in England. 

December 9 ... Lyttelton Tunnel opened for passenger traffic. 


January 1 ... Westland separated from Canterbury. 

January 26 ... Lord Lyttelton, formerly chairman of the Canter- 
bury Association, visited Christchurch, accompan- 
ied by Mr. H. Selfe Selfe. 

February 5 ... Flood waters from the Waimakariri came down the 
Avon and did much damage. Footbridge at Wor- 
cester Street washed away. 

March 18 ... Provincial Council passed a resolution in favour of 

separate administration for each Island. 

May 28 ... Christchurch declared a borough. 

June 10 ... Mr. William Wilson elected first Mayor of Christchurch 

December ... Provincial Council voted a sum of money for the 

erection of the Museum. 


January 1 ... Custom-house moved from Lyttelton to Christchurch. 
January 15 ... Foundation of the Supreme Court Building laid by the 

Governor (Sir George Ferguson Bowen). 
February 5 ... Trout turned out in Canterbury rivers. 
February ... South Waimakariri River Board constituted to guard 

against encroachments by the Waimakariri. 



April 22 


February 8 

August 31 

September 23 

October 1 


June 26 

December 1 


April 29 

November 6 

November ?0 

December 10 

December 16 

March 20 

September 4 


January 9 

April 30 

September 8 

November 18 

Arrival of H.E.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, in H.M.S. 
" Galatea." The visit had been planned for the 
previous year, but had been postponed owing to 
the attempted assassination in Melbourne, neces- 
sitating the Prince's return to Britain to recover 
from his bullet wound. 

Diocesan Synod negatived by small majority a pro- 
posal to sell the Cathedral site and use the pro- 
ceeds to build a Cathedral on the site of St. 
Michael's Church. 

Art Exhibition, the first in Canterbury, opened in the 
newly-completed Museum building. Large col- 
lection of pictures from Auckland, Wellington and 
Dunedin shown. 

Earthquake damaged the Christchurch Town Hall. 

Foundation stone laid of the new Church of St. 
Michael and All Angels. 

Canterbury Museum opened. 

City Guards Volunteer Corps formed. 
First Rose Show held in Christchurch. 

Opening of the Northern Railway to Kaiapoi. 

Foundation stone of the German Church laid. (This 
Church was fitted with a peal of bells made 
from the metal of French cannon captured in the 
Franco-Prussian war). 

Prospectus of the New Zealand Shipping Company 
issued. The Company was founded in the follow- 
ing year. 

Provincial Council decided to offer the Synod a sum 
not exceeding 10,000 for the Cathedral site. This 
offer was declined by the Synod on February 28, 

First Interprovincial Exhibition in Christchurch 
opened in the Drill Shed. 

Death of Dr. A. C. Barker. He was medical officer 
on the " Charlotte Jane," and for many years was 
the only medical practitioner on the Canterbury 

Tenders invited for the construction of the Anglican 
Cathedral. (Work was begun a few weeks later.) 

First trout (9ilbs.) caught in Canterbury. 

Public Library opened in Christchurch, under control 

of the Canterbury College Board of Governors. 
Canterbury College site chosen. 
Opening of saleyards at Addington. 




December 17 


February 4 

July 18 

November 22 

December 16 





December 13 

January 19 

September 6 


July 9 

July 14 

December 11 


March 1 

April 17 

July 8 

August 2 

Mr. J. C. Watts Russell died. 
Abolition of Provinces Bill passed. 

November 1, 1876. 
Election of first Drainage Board. 

Came into force 

South line opened to Timaru. 

Mr W. Guise Brittan died. 

Foundation stone of present railway station in 
Christchurch laid. (The original station was to 
the east of the new building. An unsuccessful 
agitation had been conducted in favour of a site 
in Manchester Street, between Cashel Street and 
Lichfleld Street.) 

Presentation of plate to Hon. William Rolleston, " in 
acknowledgment of his eminent services to the Pro- 
vince of Canterbury, over which he presided as 
Superintendent for upwards of eight years." 

Southern Railway opened to Oamaru. 

Lillywhite's All England cricket team visited Christ- 

Foundation stone of Post Office buildings in Cathedral 
Square laid. (The original Post Office was in 
" Market Square," close to the Cook and Ross Cor- 
ner." It was from here that the coaches started 
and distances were measured. The old milestone 
near the dip in the Riccarton Road marked the 
first mile in the Southern and West Coast jour- 

Canterbury College buildings and new Museum build- 
ings opened by the Governor, Marquis of Nor- 

First Domains Board appointed. 

Cricket match, Canterbury Fifteen and Australian 
Eleven, captained by Gregory. The match was 
played in Hagley Park on January 19 and 23, and 
resulted in a win for Canterbury by six wickets. 

Railway between Christchurch and Dunedin opened. 

First sod of Little River Railway turned. 

Post Office buildings opened in Cathedral Square. 

First sod turned of tramway line from the railway 

station to Cathedral Square. The pioneer line of 

the present tramway system. 

Deaf and Dumb Institution opened at Sumner. 
First championship bicycle meeting in Hagley Park. 
Canterbury Society of Arts formed (Mr H. J. Tancred 

President ) 
Resident Magistrate's Courthouse opened 



January 29 




September 15 

September 24 

November 1 

December 5 

April 16 

June 8 

January 26 





July 19 


March 25 

March 30 

April 17 

December 22 




January 10 
February 14 


Cricket match, Canterbury Fifteen v. Australian 
Eleven, captained by W. L. Murdoch, who made 
111. Match won by Australian team by an innings 
and 100 runs. 

Foundation stone of Jewish Synagogue laid. 

Sir J. Cracroft Wilson died. 

Meeting decided to form Farmers' Co-operative As- 

Mr. W. S. Moorhouse died in Wellington. 

Telephone Exchange opened, first in New Zealand. 

Christchurch Cathedral consecrated. 

Earthquake damaged the Cathedral spire, dislodging 

Messrs. Joubert and Twopenny's Exhibition opened in 

Hagley Park South. 
Society for the Prevention of Crijelty to Animals 

formed in Christchurch. 

New Zealand Shipping Co.'s " British King " sailed 
from London, inaugurating direct steam communi- 
cation between England and New Zealand. 

Industrial Exhibition opened in drill shed. 

Mr. W. J. W. Hamilton died. 

Young Men's Christian Association building opened in 

Scottish Rifle Corps formed. 
Hon. Reserve Corps formed. 
Canterbury Mounted Rifles Corps formed. (This was 

the time of the " Russian scare.") 
Moorhouse Statue in Public Gardens unveiled. 

Foundation stone of Municipal Offices on Oxford 

Terrace laid. 
Syndicate formed for the construction of the Midland 

Flood did much damage in the city. 

Tramway to New Brighton opened. 

Telephone communication between Christchurch and 

Dunedin established. 
Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association's 

new grounds at Addington opened. 
Municipal Buildings opened. 
Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrated. 
Sir Julius von Haast, F.R.S., Curator of Canterbury 

Museum, died. 



February 2 

September 1 

August 10 

January 29 


January 15 


January 25 

December 28 

November 28 

May 27 

November 17 

August 2 

January 24 

February 11 
June 21-22 

February 26 

December 1 

Dr. Grimes installed as Roman Catholic Bishop of 

Earthquake damaged buildings and caused fall of 

top of Cathedral spire. 

Resignation of Bishop Harper, to take effect on March 
31. 1890. 

First sod of Midland railway (east side) turned at 

Bishop Julius consecrated Bishop of Christchurch. 

Great maritime strike started (ended early in Novem- 

Australasian Association for the advancement of 

science opened its session in Christchurch. 
Bishop Julius laid top stone of restored Cathedral spire 
General Booth, of the Salvation Army, visited Christ- 

Mr. H. M. Stanley, explorer, visited Christchurch. 
Death of Bishop Harper. 

Sydenham Park (old Show Grounds) opened. 

Government took over management of Midland 

Mark Twain visited Christchurch. 

Death of Mr. J. E. FitzGerald, first Superintendent of 
Canterbury, and first Premier of New Zealand. 

Lord Brassey visited Christchurch. reaching Lyttel- 

ton in the yacht " Sunbeam." 
Commandant Herbert Booth, of the Salvation Army. 

visited Christchurch. 
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrated. 

Australasian Swimming Championship meeting, first 

in New Zealand, held in Christchurch. 
Opening of tramway to Cashmere. 




September 27 

October 5 

November 2 

December 25 

Chamber of Commerce opposed New Zealand entering- 
Australian Federation. 

Canterbury men for First New Zealand Contingent 
formed for service in South Africa, left Christ- 
church for Wellington. 

Captain Lorraine, aeronant, killed while making a 
balloon ascent from Lancaster Park. 

Canterbury men for Second New Zealand Contingent, 
formed for service in South Africa, left Christ- 
church for Wellington. 

January 12 

February 19 



November 1 

December 17 


January 11 


February 6 
February 7 


June 24 

July 22 

November 5 

November 16 

First meeting of Executive Committee of the Canter- 
bury Jubilee Exhibition. 

Departure of Third Contingent from Lyttelton for 
South Africa. This was the special Contingent 
from Canterbury. 

Foundation stone laid of Canterbury Agricultural and 
Industrial Hall in Manchester Street 

Canterbury men of the Fifth New Zealand Contingent 
formed for service in South Africa, left Christ- 

Jubilee Exhibition opened in Agricultural and In- 
dustrial Hall. 

Jubilee of province celebrated. 

Jubilee of " Lyttelton Times.' 

Memorial services on the death of Queen Victoria. 

Proclamation of King Edward VII. 

Public meeting held to urge the harnessing of the 

Waiinakariri Ri?er. 
Death of Dean Jacobs. 
Contingent of Imperial Troops sent round the Empire, 

arrived in Christchurch. 
Contingent of Indian Troops sent round the Empire, 

arrived in Christchurch. 
Members of First, Second and Third South African 

Contingents returned. 
Arrival of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and 

Duchess of York (King George and Queen Mary) 

in Christchurch. The Duke laid the foundation 

stone of the Canterbury Jubilee Memorial (a statue 

of Queen Victoria), in Victoria Square. 
Royal Review in Hagley Park. 
Scheme for harnessing Waimakariri before City 


Death of Mr. John Grig?, Longbeach. 
Earthquake .damaged Cathedral spire. Shock felt 

severely at Cheviot. 




November 29 

December 8 

December 21 

"Discovery," in command of Captain Scott, arrived 
in Lyttelton on her voyage to the Antarctic Con- 

Tender accepted for construction of Cathedral tran- 

" Discovery " sailed for the Antarctic. 


January 28 ... Synod decided to complete the Cathedral. 

February 8 ... South Island division of Eighth Contingent sailed from 
Lyttelton for South Africa. 

April 8 ... National testimonial to Hon. If J. Seddon presented 

in Christchurch. 

April 19 ... South Island men of Tenth Contingent left Lyttelton 

for South Africa. 

May 30 ... City Council's destructor opened in Gloucester Street. 

June 2 ... Rejoicings at proclamation of peace in South Africa. 

June 19 ... Mr. John Deans, Riccarton, died. 

August 8 ... Coronation of King Edward VII. celebrated in Christ- 


November 16 ... Arrival of Antarctic exploration relief ship " Morning" 
(Captain Colbeck). 

November 26 ... Death of Mr. R. J. S. Harman. 

December 6 ... "Morning" sailed for Antarctic. 


January 22 ... Greater Christchurch scheme carried at a poll. 

January 22 ... Election of first Christchurch Tramway Board (Mr. W 
Reece, Chairman). 

February 8 ... Death of Hon. William Rolleston. 

February 20 ... Madame Melba visited Christchurch. 

March 25 ... Return of " Morning " from the Antarctic. 

April 1 ... Boroughs of Linwood, St. Albans and Sydenham united 

to Christchurch, forming Greater Christchurch. 

May 5 ... First meeting of Greater Christchurch City Council. 

May 25 ... Canterbury Jubilee Memorial in Victoria Square un- 


June 16 ... Tramway loan proposal (250,000) to establish electrical 

tramway in Christchurch carried. 

August 17 ... Christchurch City Abattoir at Sockburn opened. 

October 24 ... "Morning" sailed to return to Antarctic. 


January 5 ... Death of Hon. W. C. Walker, C.M.G. 

April 1 "Discovery," with relief ships "Morning" and "Terra 

Nova," returned to Lyttelton. 

April 1 - Farewell banquet to Lord Ranfurly. On same day 

His Excellency unveiled a memorial tablet on 
Canterbury Jubilee Memorial, in honour of Can- 
terbury men killed in the South African War. 

June 8 "Discovery" sailed from Lyttelton on her return 

journey to England. 

September )9 ... Paderewski visited Christchurch. 



November 1 

November 1 

November 5 


February 12 

April 22 

June 5 

July 13 


December 18 


April 22 

May 10 

May 26 

June 10 

November 1 

November 2 


January 5 

April 1 

April 15 

June 25 

November 25 

December 24 


January 1 

February 6 

April 29 

May 5 

May 14 

July 27 

Consecration of the completed Christchurch Cathedral. 
Christchurch-Invercargill express train service begun. 
Canterbury Jockey Club's Jubilee Kace Meeting. 

Roman Catholic Cathedral dedicated and opened. 

General Booth visited Christchurch. 

Electric tram service opened. 

Foundation stone of King Edward Barracks laid by 
Hon. R. J. Seddon. 

Memorial tablet to fallen troopers, in Christ's College 
Chapel, unveiled. 

Captain F. W. Hutton. F.R.S., Curator of Canterbury 
Museum, died at sea on his way back to Christ- 
church from a visit to England. 

Foundation stone of New Zealand International Ex- 
hibition was laid by the Premier, Hon. R. J. Seddon, 
in Hagley Park. 

Jubilee of Presbyterianism in Canterbury celebrated. 

Installation in Christchurch of Lord Plunket, Gover- 
nor of New Zealand, as Grand Master of Grand 
Lodge of New Zealand Freemasons. 

Statue of Hon. W. Rolleston unveiled in Rolleston 

News received in Christchurch of the death of Hon. R. 
J. Seddon : general mourning in the city. 

New Zealand International Exhibition opened in 

Foundation stone laid of Technical College, in Bar- 
badoes Street. 

Death of Mrs. Godley in England. 

Further enlargement of Greater Christchurch by in- 
clusion of Beckenham and Fisherton. 

New Zealand International Exhibition closed. 

Death of Sir John Hall. 

Arrival at Lyttelton of " Nimrod " (Captain E. Shackle- 
ton, later Sir E. Shackleton), on voyage to the 

Magnetic survey vessel " Galilee," sent out by Carnegie 
Institution of Washington, arrived in Lyttelton. 

" Nimrod " left Lyttelton for Antarctic. 

Disastrous fire destroyed buildings in High Street, 
Cashel Street, and Liohfield Street. 

Death of Mr. G. G. Stead. 

Work on Arthur's Pass Tunnel begun. 

New Municipal Baths in Manchester Street opened. 

Electrical organ used at New Zealand International 
Exhibition, and presented to the City by the 
Government, formally opened in Canterbury Agri- 
cultural and Industrial Hall Buildings. 




March 25 ... " Nimrod " returned from Antarctic. 

May 26 ... Pumps at Cashmere for Municipal high pressure water 

supply officially started. 

July 29 ... New Magistrate's Court opened in Christchurch. 

August 27 ... Jubilee meeting of Canterbury Chamber of Commerce. 
November 30 . Mr. W. Crooks, M.P., visited Christchurch. 
December 15 .. Young Men's Christian Association's new building 




21 ... Lord Kitchener arrived in Christchurch. 

10 . Accession of King George V. proclaimed in Christ- 

May 15 . Memorial service for King Edward VII. 

November 26 "Terra Nova" left Lyttelton for Antarctic. 


January 19 Mrs. John Deans, of Riccarton, died. 

March 31 "Terra Nova" returned to Lyttelton from Antarctic. 

April 1 Further enlargement of Greater Christchurch, 200 

acres of Heathcote County being taken into Lin- 
wood Ward. 

July 27 Death of Mr. T. E. Taylor, while Mayor of Christchurch 

August 22 Public meeting appointed deputation to interview 
the Prime Minister, asking that the Government 
should give the City Council the site of the Pro- 
vincial Council Buildings. The request later was 

October 30 ... City Council sat as Cashmere Hills Domain Board for 
first time, and formally took control of the Domain 

January 1, 2. 3 

April 1 

December 14 

February 10 

February 12 

February 14 

February 20 

May 12 

Davis International Lawn Tennis Cup Match played in 
Christchurch, Australasia v. America. Won by 

" Terra Nova " arrived at Akaroa with news of 
Captain Scott's Antarctic Expedition. 

" Terra Nova " left Lyttelton for Antarctic. 

Lieut. H. L. L. Pennell arrived in Christchurch, from 
Oamaru, with news that Captain Scott, Dr. Wilson, 
Captain Gates, Lieut. Bowers and Seaman Evans 
had been lost in Antarctic. 

" Terra Nova " which put in at Oamaru returned to 
Lyttelton in charge of Commander Evans, with 
members of Captain Scott's Antarctic Expedition. 

Memorial service in Anglican Cathedral in honour of 
heroes lost in Antarctic. 

Citizens authorised loan for distributing electrical 
power from Lake Coleridge in city and suburbs. 

H.M.S. " New Zealand." the Dreadnought presented 
by the Dominion to the Imperial Government, 
arrived in Lyttelton. 




June 2 ... City Council appointed special committee to report 

on proposal to erect Town Hall. Committee sub- 
sequently recommended Band Kotunda site in Vic- 
toria Square. 

June 18 ... Agreement signed between City Council and Govern- 

ment, under which the former agreed to take 
current from Government's Lake Coleridge hydro- 
electrical scheme. 

October 10 ... Christchurch Electrical Supply Empowering Act 
passed, authorising City Council to make advances 
to citizens who wished to install electricity in their 
houses., , 

October 31 ... Strike by Waterside Workers at Lyttelton, in sym- 
pathy with the workers in Wellington. 

November 4 ... Conference between employers' representative and 
Federation of Labour failed. 

November 25 ... Special constables from camp at Addington sent to 
Lyttelton to maintain order. 

December 11 ... Christchurch Domains Act Amendment Act passed 
authorising Domain Board to call upon contri- 
buting bodies in a combined district to contribute 
to the Board's funds, and authorising the local 
bodies to levy rates for the purpose. 

December 20 ... Federation of Labour declared strike ended. 


April 3 ... Further extension of Christchurch by inclusion of 

280 acres of North Richmond in St. Albans Ward. 

May 1 City Council received first supply of electrical current 

from Lake Coleridge hydro-electrical scheme. 

August 5 ... Demonstration of loyalty in Christchurch on receipt of 

news that war had been declared between Great 
Britain and Germany. 

August 22 ... Last parade before departure of Canterbury Contin- 
gent of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, held in 
Hagley Park. 

August 24 Great patriotic procession and demonstration in 
Christchurch, and large sum collected for Patriotic 
Provident Fund. 

September 5 ... Farewell entertainment to members of Canterbury 
Contingent of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 
held in King Edward Barracks. Presentation of 
citizens' flag to soldiers. 

September 23 ... Canterbury Contingent of New Zealand Expeditionary 
Force left Lyttelton in " Athenio " and " Tahiti." 

October 29 ... Citizens' Defence Corps formed in Christchurch in con- 
nection with the war. Later, took an active part 
in recruiting movement. 

November 2 ... Act passed constituting Board of Control of Riccarton 
Bush, 16 acres of land in native plants, presented 
to the city by members of the Deans' Family. 

December 21 ... Death of Hon. W. Montgomery at Little River. 

December 22 ... Current from Lake Coleridge hydro-electrical scheme 
turned on for first time. 






15 ... Death of Bishop Grimes. 

16 ... Japanese Trade Commissioners visited Christchurch. 
6 .. Death of Hon. E. C. J. Stevens. 

17 ... " Willochra " arrived in Lyttelton with first wounded 

Canterbury soldiers returned from the war. 
3 ... Magnetic survey vessel "Carnegie." .sent out by 
Carnegie Institution of Washington, arrived in 


This book is DUE on the last date stamped below 

Form L-9